Service that provides late and weekend GP appointments is rolled out in Northampton

A service offering out of hours GP provision is being rolled out in Northampton.
A service offering out of hours GP provision is being rolled out in Northampton.

A service which makes GP appointments available in the evening and at weekends has been rolled out across Northamptonshire - but not in Corby.

In 2014 the Government pledged to extend opening hours at GP surgeries across the country and Nene CCG is the latest to introduce the GP Extended Access Service.

The service means appointments will be available until 8pm from Monday to Friday and in the mornings at the weekends and on bank holidays at central surgeries.

But surgeries in Corby overseen by Corby CCG - the smallest CCG in the country - are yet to have the GP Extended Access Service.

Nene CCG’s introduction of the service means an additional 334 appointments will be available per week elsewhere in Northamptonshire.

The health body says there will be appointments at more convenient times and there will be a wide range of appointments available with different healthcare professionals.

Dr Naomi Caldwell, clinical primary care lead at Nene CCG, said: “We understand our patients are leading increasingly busy lives and there is now much more demand to be able to see a GP or nurse outside normal working hours.

“The GP Extended Access Service has been commissioned to make it much more convenient for patients to book an appointment at a time which suits them, including evenings and weekends.

“Patients needing a primary care appointment will still contact their GP practice in the usual way but now may be offered an appointment with the GP Extended Access Service, if this is right for them.”

Only patients with an appointment will be seen as it is not a walk-in service.

All Extended Access appointments in Northampton will take place at Highfield Clinical Care Centre in Cliftonville Road.

Appointments will be available between 6.30pm and 9:30pm on weekdays and between 9am and 5pm on weekends.

Patients will still need to contact their GP practice in the usual way to request an appointment.

If there is no appointment available at the practice, patients may be offered an appointment with the GP Extended Access Service at the central practice if this is right for them.

Patients requesting an extended hours appointment may not see their own GP if they are travelling to another surgery.

Patients preferring to see their usual GP or practice nurse should book an appointment with their practice during normal opening hours.

Patients needing urgent care when their practice is closed should continue to call NHS 111 in the usual way.