Every patient in Sandwell and West Birmingham now has access to extended GP practice services (including opening hours in the evening and at weekends) thanks to improvements introduced by NHS Sandwell and West Birmingham Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).
The CCG has achieved the Government target set of achieving 100% population extended access coverage by 1 October 2018. The target was originally set for April 2019 but was brought forward by five months. NHS Sandwell and West Birmingham CCG are among the best performing CCGs which achieved the 100% target well ahead of the October deadline.
The improved delivery of services includes the commissioning of extra capacity to ensure access is available during peak times of demand, including bank holidays, Easter, Christmas and New Year periods. Evening and weekend appointments are available with GPs, practice nurses and other healthcare professionals.
Dr Nick Harding, Chair of NHS Sandwell and West Birmingham CCG, said:
“Patients are at the heart of everything we do and our aim is to make GP services more accessible to all. Many of us have commitments in our everyday lives which impact our ability to access health care within normal working hours, so the need for services to be more patient-centred has never been greater.
“The improved access in GP services will in particular help professionals who are unable to see a GP in the day. This enhanced service is also helping patients to avoid unnecessary hospital attendances which reduces pressure on local hospitals
“This new initiative highlights the commitment by practices and the CCG to work together to improve and deliver consistent and fair services for patients. We have been working closely with our GP Practices to improve the quality of care for patients through our ground-breaking Primary Care Commissioning Framework (PCCF) scheme, which has achieved significant health gains with patients benefiting from greater access to services, improved health and quality of care.”