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GP appointments at a time that suits

Patients across west Hertfordshire can now book GP appointments at times that better suit them thanks to an ‘extended access’ scheme that is being delivered by Herts Valleys Clinical Commissioning Group, working with local GP practices.

In line with recent NHS England guidelines for improved access, patients will be able to book to see a GP or practice nurse (or other health professional) at evenings and weekends.

Appointments are available at several local GP practices acting as ‘hubs’- meaning patients may be offered appointments other than at their own GP practice, or with their own GP. The health professional at the hub will have access to the patient’s medical record if the patient gives their permission to access their personal information.

Face-to-face appointments will always be available if preferred, and advice from a GP or practice nurse over the telephone could also be offered.

The scheme is still in its early days so a range of different hours will be trialled initially to eventually develop an offering that best meets the needs of local patients and that makes best use of finite health professionals’ time. Herts Valleys CCG will be seeking patient’s views on the new service in the near future by asking local residents to give feedback via a short survey.

GP practices should now be routinely offering extended access bookings and patients are encouraged to find out more information about booking an appointment via their GP practice.

Dr Nicolas Small, local GP and Chair of Herts Valleys CCG, said:

“GPs are delighted to be able to offer these extended appointments with our other clinical colleagues such as pharmacists. Our GP Practices are now working together to improve the access for all patients in west Hertfordshire, following the success of the existing scheme in Watford.”

Ends

Notes to editors:

  1. Further information from NHS England can be found here: https://www.england.nhs.uk/gp/gpfv/redesign/improving-access/

  2. To contact the Herts Valleys CCG communications team, email enquiries.hvccg@nhs.net or telephone 01442 898 888 during office hours.

  3. Below are the details for each area’s extended access hours available for patients to pre-book:

    Watford

There are two hubs on weekdays and five hubs on weekends.

St Albans and Harpenden

Patients will be advised of the location of their appointment when booking it.

Monday to Friday 18.30 – 20.00

Saturday and Bank Holidays 09.00 – 19.00

Sunday 09.00 – 13.00

Hertsmere

Patients will be advised of the location of their appointment when booking it.

Monday to Thursday 18.30 – 20.00

Friday 18.30 – 21.30

Saturday and Bank Holidays 08.00 – 11.00

Sunday 08.00 – 09.30

Dacorum

Below are the details for extended access hours available for patients to pre-book in Dacorum:

Monday 5pm – 10pm

Tuesday to Thursday 6.30pm – 10pm

Friday 5pm – 10pm

Saturday 9am – 1pm and 2pm – 6pm

Sunday 9am – 1pm

Appointments will take place in one of five surgeries in the Dacorum area. These are:

  • Hemel Hempstead Hospital

  • Highfield Surgery – Hemel Hempstead

  • The New Surgery – Tring

  • The Nap Surgery - Kings Langley

  • Archway Surgery - Bovingdon.

Additionally, following the agreed closure of the West Herts Medical Centre (WHMC), the Herts Valleys CCG board agreed to pilot an expansion of the current ‘extended access’ bookable appointments through the GP hub. Under the pilot scheme, from November some daytime GP appointments will be available at the Hemel Hempstead Hospital site which all patients registered with Dacorum practices will be able to book through their own GP surgery, in the same way as they do for evening and weekend appointments.

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