Warwickshire County Council is supporting a move by GP surgeries across Warwickshire to extend opening hours through a service called GP+ which will benefit local people, especially unpaid carers.
GP+ was introduced in September 2018 and selected GP surgeries now offer additional face to face and telephone appointments on weekday evenings (6.30pm-9pm/9.30pm) and at weekends (opening hours vary for different venues). Appointments with GPs, nurses, nurse practitioners and clinical pharmacists are all available.
The number of hubs in South Warwickshire has recently been increased, making it even easier for patients to arrange an appointment at their convenience. Although the extended hours are only offered at some practices, you don’t need to be registered to these practices to access GP+. All patients registered with a Warwickshire GP are able to book appointments with the GP+ service via their usual practice, and staff from 111 and A&E will also be able to make extended access appointments for those who need them. This includes children aged 0-16 who require an appointment outside of school hours.
GP+ clinicians will have access to patient records, so that the patient’s full medical history is known and records can be updated regardless of when or where patients are seen (subject to consent).
Councillor Les Caborn, Warwickshire County Council’s Portfolio Holder for Health and Wellbeing, said: “GP+ is already benefiting patients throughout Warwickshire and I hope as it becomes more established even more people will take up these extended access appointments.
“The service is especially useful for unpaid carers who are looking after a loved one. The extended hours allow unpaid carers to consult with a GP at a time to suit them when they can arrange cover for the person they care for. This provides the carer with the vital opportunity to look after their own health and wellbeing. The extended hours also provide working carers an opportunity to arrange GP appointments for the person they care for outside of working hours.”
South Warwickshire GP Federation provides GP+ services from four hub surgeries which will be extended to six from 11 March. For a full list, including opening times, please visit https://www.southwarwickshiregps.nhs.uk/extendedaccess/
For details of participating surgeries in North Warwickshire, Nuneaton & Bedworth, Coventry and Rugby, please visit https://www.coventryrugbygpalliance.nhs.uk/extended-hours