Routine evening and weekend appointments improve patient access to family doctor services this winter
Patients with long-term health conditions, young people and shift workers are just some of the people benefiting from booking a routine GP appointment in the evening or weekend say Somerset GPs.
For some months now the county’s GP Practices have been providing routine appointments from 6.30pm to 8.00pm in the evenings as well as appointments at the weekends.
Patients who would like to book a routine evening or weekend appointment must do so by first pre-booking an appointment during normal surgery opening hours.
This can be done by telephoning your GP Practice receptionist during normal opening hours (Monday to Friday, from 8am until 6.3-0pm) and asking for an evening or weekend appointment.
The receptionist can advise you of the availability and location of any appointments and try to accommodate your wishes you if want to see a GP or health professional of your choice. It is possible you may be asked to attend a neighbouring GP Practice for your appointment if this is where the first available evening appointment available.
Whether you are seen at your own surgery or a neighbouring practice health staff working evenings and weekends will have access to your medical records and will be able to provide the same high standard of care as you would expect during your GP Practice’s daytime service.
Dr Ed Ford, a GP and Chairman of the Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group said: “Extending the availability of GP and primary care appointments to the evenings and weekends should be a significant benefit for those patients who currently find it difficult to attend an appointment during the day.
“Extending routine appointments into the evening and weekends does not replace the current GP Out-of-Hours Urgent Care Service. If you or family members become ill overnight or at the weekend and need urgent medical advice or support, you should telephone NHS 111”.