Residents of West Lancashire can now access GP services at weekends, thanks to a new extended hours service pilot, launched earlier this month by NHS West Lancashire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).
Launched on Saturday 5 November 2016, the new extended hours service allows residents to see a GP, a practice nurse and attend phlebotomy appointments on Saturdays, from 10am until 4pm and Sundays from 10am until 2pm at the Sandy Lane Health Centre, Skelmersdale, WN8 8LA.
This new service is available to all patients in West Lancashire, with appointments made simply by going through their usual GP surgery.
In addition, from the week commencing Monday 2 January 2017, the extended hours service will be extended further, with additional GP appointments* available on Thursday and Friday evenings from 6.30pm until 8pm at the Walk-in Centre at Ormskirk and District General Hospital, Wigan Road, Ormskirk, L39 2AZ.
This new pilot is a result of NHS England’s General Practice Forward View, which is a national guide for primary care services over the next five years. Within the guide, it states that GP access in England is to be improved to provide greater GP access to the population at evenings and weekends within the next five years.
Dr Peter Gregory, a GP at Parkgate Surgery in Ormskirk and clinical lead at NHS West Lancashire CCG, said:
“GPs in West Lancashire have been listening to the concerns of residents when it comes to difficulty in accessing GP appointments during the week.
“The new extended hours service will now allow all residents to see a GP or practice nurse at a time that is convenient to them.
“From the start of the new year, with the pilot being extended further, this will allow greater flexibility and availability, as we offer appointments midweek, during the evening.
“Although currently at pilot stage, we are hoping that it will be well received and something that we can run in the future.”
To keep up to date will all the latest health and social care news in West Lancashire, residents can sign up to NHS West Lancashire CCG’s My View, by visiting their website: www.westlancashireccg.nhs.uk/myview
*Midweek evening appointments will be exclusively for GP appointments with no nurse practitioner, practice nurse or phlebotomy appointments available.