GP appointments to be made available in Telford until 8pm
Patients in Telford will be able to get extra GP appointments up until 8pm under a new plan.
The appointments will be provided through an 'extended access' service, which will operate all year round, with people able to see a GP from 6.30pm to 8pm, Monday to Friday, and from 8am to 8pm on weekends and bank holidays.
David Evans, Accountable Officer at Telford and Wrekin Clinical Commissioning Group, which has commissioned the service, said it would make it easier for working people to get to see a GP.
He said: “We think it is vital to ensure that patients have access to the right healthcare services when and where they need them. We know that many people who work normal business hours find it difficult to access appointments with a GP, nurse or other health professional.
“That is why it is important that we make appointments at GP surgeries easier to access outside of the standard 8am to 6.30pm weekday opening hours."
Mr Evans said the system would also hopefully reduce the amount of people needing to visit the county's under pressure hospitals.
He said: “With these additional evening and weekend appointments, the public can prevent any illness getting worse, access the correct healthcare services when they need them and get well sooner.
“By helping people to stay healthier, we can also alleviate some of the growing pressures faced by our hospitals, especially during the busy winter period.”
Developed with the collaboration of GPs in Telford and Wrekin, the new model gives all residents access to these appointments, delivered from four locations.
Patients are able to pre-book appointments for the majority of services by contacting their own GP practice during normal opening hours.
If a patient is unable to get through to their own practice or the practice is closed the call will be diverted to the Extended Access Call Centre and they will be offered an appointment with a local GP, nurse or other healthcare professional.
A spokesman for the CCG said: "Patients will see notices explaining the scheme in their practices, via the practice website and by speaking to practice reception teams. If patients require further information on the specific services that are available, these can be discussed at the time of booking."