Improved Access Appointments

Since 2007 many GP practices have offered ‘Extended Access’ appointments to patients. It was up to individual practices to decide when to offer these appointments, taking into account patient opinions. Some practices offered early morning, evening and/or weekend appointments. Some practice offered GP, Nurse and/or HCA appointments.

In July 2017, these ‘Extended access’ appointments were changed into ‘Improved Access’ Appointments on instruction by the NHS.  There are some similarities to the old appointments, but there are also a number of significant changes – mainly in terms of timings and location.

The new Improved Access scheme in our area is currently:

  • Appointments (face to face and telephone consultations) are available between 6.30pm and 8pm Monday to Friday and on Saturday Mornings.
  • However the full range of appointments is not available at each individual practice. As the ten practices in the local area are working in a rota to provide the overall hours.
  • The local federation is made up of all 10 practices within the Bridgwater area. Those practices are:-
  1. Cannington Health Centre
  2. Cranleigh Gardens Medical Centre
  3. East Quay Medical Centre
  4. North Petherton Surgery
  5. Polden Medical Practice
  6. Quantock Medical Centre
  7. Redgate Medical Centre
  8. Somerset Bridge Medical Centre
  9. Taunton Road Medical Centre
  10. Victoria Park Medical Centre

These appointments which include face to face and telephone consultations, were available from 1st July 2017.  If you would like to book an Improved Access appointment, please contact your registered practice who will be able to assist you.

Please note that continuity of care is often very important in ensuring you get the best health care possible. So it may be appropriate to consider this when accessing the appointments. Whilst other practices will have access to some of your record, nothing replaces the relationship you have with your own GP. So where this continuity is important it may be useful to ensure your appointment is with your own GP/practice.

More information can be found at:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/A5_Leaflet_ExtendedHours.pdf

If you have any questions, please contact your registered practice.

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