Enhanced Access Services in General Practice
From October 2022, your GP practice will be offering improved access to appointments and other general practice services. This ‘enhanced access’ means:
- GP services will be available in your area up to 8pm on weekdays, and from 9am- pm on Saturdays as a minimum.
- Appointments will be bookable in advance and on the same day (and able to be cancelled by the patient remotely).
- A mix of services will be available within these additional hours with access to the range of health professionals working in the primary care team.
- There will be a choice of ways to access appointments depending on clinical need, such as telephone, video appointment, online consultation, or face to face.
If a face-to-face appointment is needed, this will be at a GP practice in the local area. The exact mix of what is provided through this enhanced offer will be determined based on local health needs, current usage of out of hours services and the views of patients.
At the moment, Bromley patients who cannot get an immediate GP appointment at their own practice, can be booked into an appointment at a ‘GP Access Hub’. These are currently available at the weekend and from 4pm to 8pm in the evening and 8am to 8pm at weekends and Bank Holidays. These services will be replaced by the new enhanced access services.
What is changing?
Nationally, the responsibility for who arranges enhanced access services is changing. It is moving from clinical commissioning groups to primary care networks (PCNs). PCNS are groups of practices working together over a neighbourhood location to provide better care to their patients.
This change means Bromley GPs and other health professionals working in your practice will have more say over how the additional appointments should be used to meet the needs of their patients.
This could lead to general practices prioritising preventative care such as health checks for vulnerable groups, vaccination programmes and immunisations, or supporting the management of long-term conditions.
What does this mean for me?
We are seeking your views on the new GP enhanced access services to make sure what is provided will meet you and your community’s needs.
We want to find out how you currently use your GP services, how we should use the additional appointments that will be available, whether we should extend the core service further, so it offers Sunday appointments and the location of where services are available. We will be shortly sharing a survey and also holding an online and face to face event to capture your views. More details to follow.