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GP extended access

London has been leading the way to ensure everyone has easier and more convenient access to GP services, including appointments at evening and weekends.  It was the first region in the UK to fully offer extended access services to the entirety of its 9 million population.

With this goal being met, we are now working with CCGs to review services to ensure they are being fully utilised, offering effective patient care and they are aligned with wider unscheduled care pathways.

For the future, we would be looking at:

Maintaining

  • On-going monitoring  – annual audit undertaken, data collection, assurance
  • On-going regional support – London guidance document, indemnity, data issues, regional communications work, utilisation – under and over
  • Benchmarking and sharing best practice – connecting CCGs, sharing performance data, mapping effective pathways, workshops, top 10 utlisation tips doc
  • Governance  – access delivery group, London oversight group

Next steps

  • CCG visits – deep dive into access and wider issues, shared learning, deeper understanding, reviewing standards  and planning for future programme support
  • Integration – 111 direct booking in place in 95% of CCGs, redirection urgent care (UC) in over 60%, referral from hubs in place, integrated pathways and effective patient flows explored, use of digital
  • Access and impact – who is using the service, equitable access, is it adding value, benefits, evaluation

Future

  • Build on collaboration and at scale – using the ‘use of access’ funding for at scale, Primary Care Networks (PCN)
  • Sustainability – STP cross working, value for money, best models, long term planning and commissioning, impact, place in the PC and UC landscape and new models of care
  • Access as part of wider PC transformation – links to workforce, digital, at scale, PCNs and other programmes
  • Holistic access – Work on core general practice access and measuring activity, unscheduled and scheduled care pathways

There are many ways practices can make sure their patients know about and use extended access services. It is important that all practice staff are aware of the extended access services in their area and are actively promoting and using them for their patients. To assist you further in your journey of delivering extended access services we have developed “Top 10 Tips” ensuring effective utilisations of services.  You can download this from the GP extended access services: communications toolkit.

London currently offers:

  • Pre-bookable and same day basis appointments
  • Appointments that can be booked via GP practices, 111 or via a specific telephone number in some areas
  • Extended Access Services currently have full access to patient health records
  • Direct booking into services via 111
  • All areas have services which provide additional GP services in hub locations 18:30-20:00 on weekdays and 8:00-20:00 at weekends
  • GP appointments are available while some areas also provide nurse appointments as well.

Lewisham GP Extended Access – a case study

Read about how the One Health Lewisham GP Federation practices are working collaboratively at scale to provide GP extended access here.

Communications toolkit

London materials to support public promotion have been developed in order to support commissioners and GP practices in the communication of services.   In the toolkit you will find print and digital assets to be used throughout the year.

These posters can also be used in the community and urgent care providers to promote the extended access service.

Explore the GP extended access services: communications toolkit from our resources section.

Further enquiries

If you have any questions referencing this service please send email to england.londonprimarycaretransformation@nhs.net.

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