How does your GP fare for offering appointments on weekends and evenings?
Only nine of the 217 CCGs in England in the survey had a higher percentage of GP surgeries offering no provision
Nottingham is one of the worst places in the country to get a GP appointment at weekends, evenings and early mornings, according to new NHS figures.
But Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) say improving access to doctors’ appointments is a key priority.
The figures, from NHS England, reveal the number of surgeries which are offering extended access – hours beyond contracted hours of 8am-6.30pm.
“Full provision” means patients have access to pre-bookable appointments on Saturdays and Sundays and for at least an hour and a half before 8am or after 6.30pm, through the practice or as part of its group.
“Partial provision” is access to pre-booked appointments on at least one day of the week and “no provision” means no access outside contracted hours.In the Nottingham City CCG area – which has 368,950 patients – of 55 surgeries, 22 had no provision, (40 per cent). Just two had full, with 31 having partial provision.
Only nine of the 217 CCGs in England surveyed had a higher percentage of GP surgeries offering no provision.
But Dr Hugh Porter, chair of NHS Nottingham City CCG, said: “Improving access to GP appointments is one of our key priorities and many local practices are increasing their opening hours as well as providing additional nurse-led treatments on site.
“But these figures do not accurately reflect the number of people who can already access appointments outside working hours at a number of city surgeries.
“Since 2014 we have been piloting a weekend appointment service at six GP practices that also offer appointments to patients who are not registered.
“Over 11,000 patients access this service every year and we aim to roll out a new citywide GP access scheme later this year that will provide evening and Saturday appointments.”
Nottingham North and East CCG featured in the nine CCGs which fared worse, with nine practices offering no provision (47.4 percent), 10 providing partial and none offering full.
Dr James Hopkinson, local GP and clinical lead for Nottingham North and East CCG, said the CCG was working towards implementing extended hours and seven-day GP services during 2018/19.