Notts: Multi-million pound investment will see GP’s offering evening and weekend appointments

14 Jan 2015......... Dr Dean Eggitt at his surgery in Doncaster for feature on pressures faced by GPs. Picture Scott Merrylees SM1006/62f
14 Jan 2015......... Dr Dean Eggitt at his surgery in Doncaster for feature on pressures faced by GPs. Picture Scott Merrylees SM1006/62f
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By next year, people in Notts will be able to see a GP, nurse or primary care professional in the evenings and at weekends or speak to one by phone, video or email, the Government has announced.

The Prime Minister, David Cameron, said he wanted the NHS and GPs to offer patients more tests, treatments and services closer to their home, avoiding unnecessary trips to hospital.

An extra £14 million in local funding will be invested to the NHS next year with an aim to improve GP access, modernise surgeries and improve out-of-hospital care, as part of the second phase of the Government scheme.

But Dr Greg Place, who has been a GP at Ashfield Place for over 20 years and is chairman of the Notts Local Medical Committee, said the Government need to be clear on what GPs should be doing to improve healthcare.

“The Government need to be more specific on what kind of facility they want to see being provided during the evening and on weekends, as the majority of GPs already offer these extended hours to the people that need it,” he said.

“As long as we have the resource to offer any new provisions required, we can fulfil any further demands the Government feel we need to meet.”

“But in my view, what we provide, at least in Notts, is relatively thorough already.”

Care Minister Norman Lamb said: “We want to have a fairer society, and that means better care, closer to home for everyone. Today’s announcement helps patients get easier access to their GP.”

“Our investment in out of hospital care will not only improve and join up services where people live but also keep people healthier for longer.”

Under the scheme, it is hoped that patients will have greater convenience with more appointments in the evenings and at weekends, plus the option for video, email and telephone consultations.

The scheme will also aim to ensure more tests, treatments and services will be offered closer to people’s homes.

East Midlands GPs from 62 practices will benefit from an estimated £11 million to pay for projects.

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said: “GPs are the foundation of the NHS and at the centre of our plans to move more care into the community. We are supporting them to work innovatively to deliver 21st century patient care.”