Glowing Reports for Shropshire's Extended Access Service

11 September 2019 10:06am

Shropshire patients have given their overwhelming support to a service that provides improved access to General Practice (GP) appointments outside of usual opening hours.

According to feedback collected by NHS Shropshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) from 1 March to 18 July this year, 99% of patients who completed the survey were given an extended access appointment at a time that was convenient to them.

99% of these patients were either ‘very satisfied’ or ‘satisfied’ with the service, and the level of care they received during their extended access appointment, and 98% of patients were either ‘very satisfied’ or ‘satisfied’ with the ability to book appointments at weekends and evenings.

As part of the national agenda set by NHS England, the GP Extended Access Service means patients are able to book appointments to see a GP, Practice Nurse, or other qualified healthcare professional, at a time which may be more convenient for them.

GP Practices in Shropshire have been offering early evening, weekend and bank holiday appointments since October 2018.

Across Shropshire, a total of 509 patients completed the survey when accessing the service at GP Practices. The survey was created to measure patient experience, in particular their experience of accessing the service, and their overall satisfaction.

Dr Julian Povey, Chair of Shropshire CCG, said: “We are delighted that our patients are expressing such positivity towards extended access appointments and that they are seeing the benefits this service can bring. These figures act as testament to the hard work and dedication of our practices and their staff.

“We understand that 9 to 5 doesn’t always suit everyone, and it is important that patients have accessibility to appointments. This service offers choice, enables patients to have more flexibility, and also adds to the existing range of healthcare services already available in Shropshire.”

Pre-bookable extended access appointments are available between:

  • Weekday evenings (Monday to Friday) between 6.30pm and 8pm (at a local area hub)

  • Saturdays between 8am and 1pm (at a local area hub)

  • Sundays and Bank Holidays between 8.30am and 12.30pm (at a single site in central Shrewsbury)

Arranging an appointment is easy as patients simply need to contact the Practice where they are registered, during normal opening hours, and speak to the Practice Receptionist or a member of the Practice Team who will be able to help.

Appointments may not be with your registered GP, but will be with a GP or another suitable healthcare professional such as an Advanced Nurse Practitioner or Practice Nurse.

Information to help patients understand more about the Extended Access Service is available on the NHS England website: www.england.nhs.uk/gp/gpfv/redesign/improving-access.