5,000 extra GP appointments a month created through extended access scheme

An extended access scheme in Oxfordshire is providing 5,000 more GP appointments a month, according to commissioners.

The scheme, funded by NHS England under the GP Access Fund, provides GP and nurse consultations from locality hubs.

Oxfordshire CCG said that more than half the 5,000 extra appointments each month were provided outside core practices hours.

The service is commissioned by the CCG from local practice federations which run the hubs for around 700,000 patients.

Commissioners said the scheme also helps to relieve pressure on practices during core hours by moving some routine appointments to evenings and weekends, allowing for longer appointments for those that need them.

Under the scheme patients are able to book routine appointments in advance as well as same-day urgent appointments, through their own practice.

Oxfordshire CCG’s head of primary care Julie Dandridg said: ‘We want patients to have access to more appointments throughout the week including at the weekends to deliver more effective care in Oxfordshire.

'More evening and weekend routine appointments suit some people, especially those who are working long hours, have commitments or prefer a more flexible time to see a doctor or nurse. I encourage local people to use this local service designed to improve patient care and wellbeing.’

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