Need to see a GP or nurse this half term? Think the evening and weekends

Tuesday 19th February, 2019

In October last year evening and weekend appointments went live across Coastal West Sussex.

Available at GP practices across the area, and accessed through your normal GP practice, they are making it easier to get a GP or nurse appointment.

Since October, more than 17,000 additional appointments have been booked for local people above and beyond what is normally available during the day.

Under the new initiative, urgent appointments are available up to 8pm during the week and appointments are available at clinics on a Saturday and Sunday.

The service is run by Innovations in Primary Care (IPC), a not-for-profit company owned by local GP practices.

The appointments are available by contacting your normal GP practice in the normal way and are available at local GP access hubs, which are being run from some local GP surgeries across the area.

The appointments are for new illnesses or injuries when you need to see a health professional urgently.

The access hubs also offer planned appointments such as family planning and cervical smear tests that can be hard to arrange whilst at work or when you are caring for family or a loved one.

One example of just how they can work is when Miss Wilson from West Sussex, needed to see a doctor but couldn’t get an appointment around her work commitments.

She said: “I hadn’t felt right for about a week. I was taking cold and flu medicine but nothing was helping.  I work in London and find getting a GP appointment a bit of a challenge – but  I was feeling so unwell on the train home that I phoned my GP surgery at 6pm, not holding out much hope.

“I was so pleased to be offered an appointment at 7.15pm that very evening at my local GP Access Hub – it was brilliant.  I was diagnosed with tonsillitis and was given a prescription for antibiotics; I started taking them that night.  I’m telling all my friends about the new later appointments.”

During school holidays these additional appointments are really important as they can help people to be seen by a GP or nurse when it is appropriate and reduce pressure on other services such as A&E.

The local NHS is asking everyone to remember these appointments when you do need medical help, and ask your GP practice about what’s available if you do need help.

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