Patients in Manchester can now book GP appointments seven days a week due to an innovative service launched in the city.
Funding from the Prime Minister’s GP Access fund has opened up thousands of appointments across the city from 8am to 8pm seven days a week. This includes 52,000 more nurse appointments, 52,000 healthcare assistant appointments and 131,000 GP appointments.
Sohail Munshi, a GP at Five Oaks Family Practice in Beswick and chair of the Manchester Primary Care Partnership (MPCP) said that extending the service will greatly improve the services.
‘School age children, working families and carers are among some of those who will benefit greatly from being able to see a GP or nurse in the evenings and weekends. We’re proud to be able to provide this service for our patients in Manchester,’ he said.
The service has been set up by the MPCP who have worked closely with North, South and Central Manchester CCGs and other local organisations.
The seven day service is available to any patient registered with a Manchester GP practice.
Evening and weekend appointments will be available from 15 locations across Manchester, 12 in GP practices and three in local hospital trusts.
Manchester’s 91 GP practices are working together to staff the new services and all clinicians will be able to access patient’s medical records.
The £5.4million scheme serves 600,000 patients, making it the biggest seven day GP access scheme in the country.
The MPCP is also building links with other local organisations including the Manchester Carers Forum and Macmillan Cancer Support to ensure that patients and carers have better access to primary care services.
Health secretary Jeremy Hunt said: ‘Manchester is leading the way in providing the GP service that all patients want – a service that’s available seven days a week with evening and weekend appointments to suit their busy lives.’
A public awareness campaign was launched at the end of January and will run across Manchester until the end of March. The campaign involves press and radio advertising, adverts of buses, trams and billboards and information in GP practices.