In addition to standard, weekday appointment times, people living in York and its surrounding area will soon have the opportunity to visit, or talk to a healthcare professional in the evenings, at weekends and on bank holidays thanks to a new scheme that launches in October 2018.
NHS Vale of York Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has awarded Nimbuscare Ltd, a group of local GP practices, a contract to deliver a new extended access primary care service in central York.
Dr Kevin Smith, the CCG’s Executive Director of Primary Care and Population Health said: “I am delighted to announce that patients in areas of central York and Pocklington will be able to access primary care services in the evenings, at weekends and on bank holidays from early autumn 2018.”
Dr Smith added: “We asked the Vale of York community to tell us what is important to them about local healthcare services and providing extended access to primary care services was identified as one of the main themes.
“Our investment to increase access to primary care services is the start of a very exciting journey that is transforming the delivery of local healthcare.”
Dr Russell Saxby of Nimbuscare Ltd and My Health Practice said: “This is fantastic news for patients. It is the biggest investment in primary care for some years and we are delighted and proud to be at the forefront of this new service in York.
“We know people currently find it difficult to get a face-to-face or telephone appointment at their GP practice, at a time to suit them.
“This new service will give people a better choice of appointment times and more options to speak to a clinician, or even, eventually, have a virtual consultation on their mobile device or computer.”
Under the new contract, appointments will be available between 6.30pm and 8pm each weekday, with additional slots available at weekends and bank holidays. The appointments will be pre-bookable, by telephoning local surgeries or by contacting NHS 111.
Mrs Jayne Bone, Senior Manager at Nimbuscare Ltd said: “We will constantly listen to people’s views about the service, so that we can change it to suit their needs. Our aim is to offer a range of routine appointments with GPs and other clinical staff.
“We’ll be rolling the service out in phases from October 2018.”
The new service, which will cover the York Central area, including Pocklington, will be based at four hub sites:
- Cornlands Road Medical Centre, Acomb
- Stonebow Surgery, Central York
- Huntington Surgery, 1 North Lane, York
- Pocklington Surgery, Pocklington, East Yorkshire
Dr Saxby explained: “It’s really important we get this right for patients, so we plan to roll it out gradually and keep services under review.
“There is a lot of work to be done now to make sure all our systems are linked, staff are trained and rotas established to be able to offer the service. This is a huge piece of work and we want to make sure it happens as smoothly and seamlessly as possible.”
People will get the chance to give feedback using a number of survey mechanisms to be introduced as the service begins. More information will be sent out via local surgeries in the coming weeks.