Supermarket surgery fully booked for its first month

Appointments at the first supermarket-based GP surgery in England have been fully booked since it opened on 3 March.

Some patients are already returning for follow-up visits to Sainsbury's in Heaton Park, Greater Manchester rather than attend their own practice during normal opening hours.

There is evidence that the supermarket surgery is capturing patients who would not have attended their regular practice.

'We have been able to complete outstanding quality framework data on BP and smoking status,' said Dr Mohammed Jiva, whose company PriMed Services is offering extended hours to four local practices in a pilot scheme, Doctors in Store, funded by Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale PCT.

The six-month Doctors in Store pilot will cost £45,000.

Doctors in Store offers 16 appointments on Monday and Thursday evenings and 20 appointments on Saturdays.

'We are keen for other neighbouring PCTs to see if they would like to use the other available evenings,' Dr Jiva said.

He said that other PCTs could roll out similar plans in as little as four weeks.

GPs in London and Leeds have approached Dr Jiva about replicating his model.

'We have the backing of Sainsbury's to extend the model to other areas,' he said.

In a second extended hours pilot funded by Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale PCT, Bury and Rochdale Doctors On Call (BARDOC) last week began offering appointments to patients in Rochdale at a walk-in centre.

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