26 June 2018

As seeing a GP becomes increasingly difficult, Medway Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is looking at proposals to improve access to GPs and other primary care practitioners, including offering weekend and evening appointments.

 

Medway CCG is working with GP practices to decide how, where and when to deliver the extended service which will be in place by 1 October 2018. The organisation responsible for planning and buying local NHS services wants to hear from patients, families and staff to help them ensure the plans work for people who use GP practices in Medway.

A patient and public workshop to discuss the proposals is taking place on Wednesday, July 18 from 6.30 – 8.30pm at Avenue Tennis Club, Featherby Road, Gillingham. To register, visit https://gpaccess.eventbrite.co.uk.

Dr Farnaaz Sharief, Clinical Lead at Medway CCG, said: “We know patients often have to wait a long time to see a GP at a time which is convenient. In Medway, we want everyone to be able to access General Practice seven days a week and in the evenings.

“However, this might mean having to go to a different location, seeing a primary care practitioner rather than your usual GP or using digital services. These are the kind of questions we’ll be looking at during the workshop and we’re very keen to hear people’s views. At the moment, we don’t know if people would prefer an evening or weekend appointment so we need feedback from the local community.”

Medway CCG is also establishing care navigators across GP practices who will help people get to the right services for them. Practices are currently exploring ways of how they can work together on a larger scale to deliver services.

Dr Sharief continued: “Although there is a national shortage of doctors, our GPs are confident that by working together they can provide the additional appointments people want and need. Many staff don’t want to work full time so by using locums and those who prefer to work at different times, patients will have greater access to health professionals.”  

This change is in line with a national plan to extend access to general practice across the country.

For more information on the proposed changes to GP access, visit www.medwayccg.nhs.uk/getting-involved/get-involved/gp-extended-access

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Notes to Editors

  • Medway CCG is responsible for planning and buying local NHS services, for the patient population of 295,223 across Medway.
  • Medway CCG’s main role is to plan and buy health services across the Medway towns. It works closely with patient groups, local public health, social care and voluntary sector partners to make sure the right services are available at the right time.
  • The CCG is one of 211 in the country, the Medway CCG is made up of GPs, other healthcare professionals and experienced commissioners dedicated to making Medway a healthier place to live.
  • It is committed to developing a strong clinically-led organisation that puts the needs of Medway residents at the heart of its decisions.
  • Medway Clinical Commissioning Group has a governing body made up of local GPs, a registered nurse and several lay members, all working with a network of health professionals across the area.