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Improving access to general practice: evening and weekend appointments now available

Patients who are registered at this practice can now book an appointment to see a GP or nurse on weekday evenings (after 6.30pm) or at the weekends (on Saturday and Sunday). Appointments will either take place at this practice or at another NHS setting nearby. Talk to the practice receptionist to find out more or book an appointment.

By March 2019 everyone in England will benefit from access to general practice appointments in the evenings and weekends at a time that is most convenient to them. This is part of a national drive to help improve access to general practice and get the best possible outcomes for patients. Further information is available at www.england.nhs.uk/gpaccess.

Making evening and weekend appointments – giving you more choice

GP practices in this area are making it easier for you to make appointments at times which suit you.

From October, 2017 all practices in south east Hampshire, and Fareham and Gosport – including ours – will take part in a new scheme to allow you to make appointments from 8am to 8pm on week days, from 8am to 4.30pm on Saturdays, and on Sunday mornings.

This extends the normal opening hours for surgeries, which until now have usually run until 6.30pm on weekday evenings.

If you do need to see someone, we will be able to offer you an appointment at your local ‘hub’ location – they are located at Petersfield Community Hospital, Waterlooville Health Centre, Havant Health Centre, Fareham Community Hospital and Gosport War Memorial Hospital.

There, you will be seen by a locally-based healthcare professional – the service is led by GPs but also includes other staff such as nurses, or healthcare assistants. The staff can – with your consent – access your medical records, ensuring a high quality service.

Please note: the new extended opening hours is not a walk-in service – you need to make an appointment.

You can make an appointment by talking to our surgery staff and booking a slot in the normal way, or – if we are closed and you think you need to see someone more urgently – you can call NHS 111 to ask to make an appointment.

For more information, talk to our staff, or see our Question and Answers below.

Questions & Answers

So what is changing?
Until now, primary care (services usually provided by GP practices) tended to run until 6.30pm on weekdays, at the latest. After that, you needed to use the area Out Of Hours service, or call NHS 111. But from 1 October, 2017, there is a new local ‘extended access’ service running from 6.30pm-8pm on weekdays, from 8am – 4.30pm on Saturdays, and on Sunday mornings. This new, extra service is in addition to our practice’s normal service – which remains exactly the same – and gives people greater choice when choosing when to book appointments.

Who can use the new service?
Anyone registered at our surgery can use the service. It covers a large part of Hampshire, stretching from Gosport and Fareham, across to Emsworth, and right up to Petersfield, and Whitehill and Bordon.

How do I use the new service?

If you want to book an appointment during traditional surgery opening hours, then nothing changes. However, if you want to use the new service during the extended hours, there are two ways you can do this. Firstly, you can ask to book an evening or weekend appointment in the normal way – by talking to our reception staff, or calling the practice. Secondly, if you think you need an appointment more urgently when our practice is already closed for the day, you can ask for an appointment via the NHS 111 phone service.

Will our surgery be open for longer?
The opening hours of our surgery will stay the same, but our patients will have more choice when they can seek to book an appointment.

Where is the service based?
The new extended hours service will run from five ‘hub’ sites across the area – Petersfield Community Hospital, Waterlooville Health Centre, Havant Health Centre, Fareham Community Hospital and Gosport War Memorial Hospital. For our patients, the most convenient location will be discussed with you when you make the appointment.

Does the new service offer a ‘walk-in’ option?
No – please note that this is not a walk-in service – it is appointment only.

Who will work at the new service?
The new extended hours service will include GPs, nurses and other NHS staff from the local area – including some of the team working at our practice.

Can staff at this service see my medical records?
Yes – but only if you consent to that happening when you book your appointment. The fact that staff can see your medical records is a big advantage of this new service – it means that clinical staff can be more confident about giving you the best possible advice or treatment. This also makes it less likely they will have to send you back to us at our practice for a further appointment.