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Extended hours and GP Hubs provide better access to appointments for Redbridge patients

PUBLISHED: 07:00 23 May 2018 | UPDATED: 09:56 04 June 2018

South Woodford pharmacist Lubna Patel talks about what appointments are available to help to put people in the picture about local healthcare services.

South Woodford pharmacist Lubna Patel talks about what appointments are available to help to put people in the picture about local healthcare services.

Archant

Patients should be finding it easier to get a doctor’s appointment due the extended hours being offered by GPs working in the Redbridge Clinical Commissioning Group.

Latest figures from the NHS show that 87per cent of people registered with a GP can book an appointment on Saturday, Sunday and outside the normal surgery hours on weekdays.

This is up from 63pc in March 2017.

A further 7pc of patients can get to see a doctor on one or more of these extended hours periods.

But 7pc of registered patients, that’s 18,692 people, are with a surgery that does not offer any extended hours appointments.

The data was gathered by the NHS from 96pc of GP practices in England.

Of the 44 practices that provided data in the area, 36 offer appointments on all extended hours and four do so for one or more of the periods.

The government says that everyone should have, “more convenient access to GP services, including appointments at evening and weekends.”

It has set a target date of October 1st for all patients to have access to extended hours.

People in Redbridge are able to access evening and weekend appointments at GP hubs located across the boroughs.

The GP hubs offer urgent, same-day, bookable appointments every weekday evening between 6.30pm and 10pm, and 8am to 8pm on weekends.

Lubna Patel, a South Woodford pharmacist said: “I would like to remind people that visiting your local pharmacy for minor health problems instead of your GP, can often save you time and hassle.

“Pharmacists like me have five years clinical training and can offer expert confidential advice and treatment for many health problems.

“We can recommend over-the-counter medicines that could help with illnesses like coughs and colds and if we feel you need to see your GP we can advise you to do just that.”

There are 7,153 GP practices in England. Currently, just over 6,000 of them offer some access to appointments on Saturdays, Sundays and during extended weekday hours.

GP hub appointments need to be booked by calling 020 3770 1888 or contacting NHS 111.


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