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Health Matters - Improved Access

Health Matters - Improved Access
21 September 2018

Dr Paddy Kearns, GP Partner at Manchester Road Surgery, Knutsford and Chair of Vernova Healthcare Community Interest Company, the GP Federation organisation in Eastern Cheshire

It is not always easy to arrange an appointment at your local GP surgery. This is because a growing and aging population over the last five years has coincided with a decline in the number of GPs. What’s more, the opening times might not fit around work commitments or you may need to make an appointment over the weekend.

The good news is that from Monday 1 October your GP surgery will be providing additional routine appointments to see a clinical member of the practice team on weekdays outside of 8am to 6pm and on Saturdays and Sundays.

You can access extended hours appointments by ringing your local practice as usual and requesting an evening or weekend slot, the receptionist will then confirm the available times and location. The consultation may not be with your named GP or in your usual GP practice but they’ll still be able to access your GP record with your permission.

Good access is not just about getting an appointment when you need it; it is also about access to the right person, providing the right care, in the right place at the right time.

So what does this mean for you?

  • For those living in Knutsford additional appointments will be available from Monday to Thursday on a GP practice rota basis.
  • If you live in Bollington, Disley or Poynton additional appointments will be available from Monday to Thursday on a GP practice rota basis.
  • For those living in Congleton and Holmes Chapel additional appointments will be available from Monday to Thursday on a GP practice rota basis.
  • In Macclesfield additional appointments will be available from Monday to Thursday based out of Waters Green Medical Centre and will be provided by Vernova Healthcare, a not-for-profit federation of Eastern Cheshire’s GP practices.
  • Chelford, Handforth, Alderley Edge and Wilmslow residents will have additional appointments available from Monday to Thursday. These appointments will be based out of Handforth Health Centre and will be provided by Vernova.

All residents of Eastern Cheshire will also be able to access additional Friday night, Saturday and Sunday appointments at Waters Green Medical Centre. These appointments will be provided by Vernova for your GP surgery.

The first six months of this service will allow us to better understand local need and to fine tune the service accordingly.

The service will allow patients to access pre-bookable and same-day appointments outside standard hours during the week and at weekends. The appointments are not intended for people with emergency healthcare needs. Extended access to general practice will complement other services such as community pharmacy and NHS 111.

For further information on the service provision, please view our Primary Care News page and the service page on the Vernova Healthcare website.