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Wednesday, October 5, 2022

Changes to GP appointments on evenings, weekends and bank holidays

The way GP services are provided on evenings, weekends and bank holidays is changing, say health bosses at NHS Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin.

From 1 October 2022, appointments will be made available outside of normal practice hours, usually 8am to 6:30pm on weekdays, via two ‘enhanced access’ services.

The changes mean that some patients will access appointments differently, such as how they book them and where they might go to be seen.

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Extended Access Hubs

These will offer access to appointments on weekday evenings 6.30pm-8pm, and weekends and bank holidays 8am-8pm. Extended Access Hubs will also offer pre-bookable and ‘on the day’ appointments, and NHS 111 can also book patients in.   

Extended Hours Access

‘Extended hours’ to core practice opening hours will provide additional early morning, evening and weekend sessions. These will include emergency, same day and pre-bookable appointments.

Dr Nick White, Chief Medical Officer at NHS Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin, said: “GP access, where and when you need it, is important to all of us.

“You may have already used these ‘enhanced access’ services either at your own GP practice or at another practice or healthcare site. What’s changing is that Primary Care Networks (PCNs) will become responsible for providing these two forms of enhanced access, as outlined above.

“This could mean changes to the way patients book an appointment as well as which site they may need to visit for their appointment.”

As a result of the change, which takes place across the whole of the UK, there will be no reduction in the overall amount of GP service appointments available for people across the week and on bank holidays.

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