GP services are getting busier and patients tell us that they sometimes find it difficult to get an appointment.
NHS North Lincolnshire CCG is looking for the views and experiences of local people to help us design a new service specification for a contract to operate extended access GP practice services from April 2018. This is not about urgent care, which is served already by the GP Out of Hours Service.
Like most areas of the country, there are difficulties in recruitment and retention of GPs and practice nurses with many clinicians in our area approaching retirement age. Our general population is ageing too and more people are now managing one or more long term health conditions so need to see GPs or nurses more often.
The national NHS has committed to offering general practice services over seven days. However, it would not be affordable to open up all of our GP practices seven days a week. Doing this would also make things very difficult for practices, as they already have problems recruiting new doctors and nurses as outlined above.
From April 2018 additional funds will be invested to provide more routine appointments for GP services in North Lincolnshire outside normal practice opening times, over seven days. This will be in addition to any extended hours already offered by a patient’s own GP practice.
Dr Robert Jaggs-Fowler, Medical Director at the CCG, said:
“We want to make sure this additional investment is used wisely to meet patient demand and are asking people how they might use these additional GP extended hours services.
“It is important a doctor or nurse’s time is fully used so we need to know what time or which days (if it’s a weekend) people would consider booking routine appointments outside normal hours. We are also asking how long people would be happy to travel for an appointment and whether they would see a different health professional to a GP if it was appropriate for them. We also want to understand people’s feelings about using technology – whether it is online symptom checkers or consultations via email or even Skype.”
To take part in the survey please visit www.northlincolnshireccg.nhs.uk/get-involved/accessinggp/.
If you would prefer a hard copy version of the survey please call us on 0300 3000 563 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will post it out to you; you can fill it in and return it to us by Freepost (no stamp required).
Or if you’d rather talk through your answers with someone over the phone, call the above number and we will make arrangements to do that with you.