Additional GP appointments available at evenings and weekends

As of October 1, patients across Devon will be able to make routine appointments to see a GP at evenings and weekends.

The aim of the Improving Access to General Practice scheme is to make it easier for people to get an appointment at a time that suits them. While many practices will be providing the extra appointments themselves, NEW Devon and South Devon & Torbay CCGs have commissioned Devon Doctors to assist where practices have opted out.

This scheme is an extension of the usual GP service, not a walk-in service, with people still needing to make an appointment if they want to see a GP in the evening or at the weekend. Where practices are not providing the extra appointments themselves, they will provide patients with a contact number for Devon Doctors’ Improving Access appointment line.

Devon Doctors’ clinicians will be able to prescribe medication or refer the patient for further treatment if necessary. If a patient sees a Devon Doctors GP, their own GP will receive electronic notes of the consultation to ensure the records are up to date.

Dr Nick Kennedy, chair of the NHS clinical commissioning groups in Devon’s Primary Care Committee, said: “Good access to GP services is not just about getting an appointment when patients need it – it is also about access to the right person who can provide the right care in the right place at the right time.

“A GP improving access appointment is like a normal practice appointment, with local GPs and nurses available to see patients as usual.

“If the need isn’t urgent and the patient would prefer to see their usual GP or practice nurse, they should book an appointment with their usual practice during normal opening hours.”

Patients are advised to contact their GP practice for more information about the improving access service, including how to make an appointment.