Local GP Practices successful in bid for £2.5m for more weekend and evening GP appointments
Local GP surgeries have today announced today that they have received £2.5m from a successful bid to the Prime Minister’s Challenge Fund. The money will be used to improve access to see a GP, nurse or primary care professional by appointment at centres across the Borough in the evenings from 6pm to 8pm, from 10am to 4pm at weekends and for more phone, video and email consultations with a health professional. This will provide an additional 75,000 appointments over the initial nine month operational period.
Wendy Fairhurst, Nurse Partner at Marus Bridge GP Practice, one of the GP Practices in the successful bid said on behalf of three Wigan GP Federations (First ALW CIC, Cardium and Wigan Borough Federated Healthcare):
“This is a wonderful prospect for the people across Wigan Borough beginning. Having more extended access to GP services by appointment , particularly for people who find them difficult to access during normal working hours will help people to get medical advice when they need it, take care of themselves better and avoid having to go to hospital. All three Wigan GP Federations (Health First ALW CIC, Cardium and Wigan Borough Federated Healthcare) were supported by NHS Wigan Borough Clinical Commissioning Group in making this bid for funding and have agreed to work in an alliance partnership to provide the new service that will be available for everyone. This builds on the work of our GP Practices who already offer extended appointment times”.
Dr Tim Dalton, Chair of NHS Wigan Borough Clinical Commissioning Group said:
"NHS Wigan Borough CCG is delighted that our local surgeries have come together in order to respond so positively to the challenges of increasing demands for access over a seven day period. This innovative collaboration, supported by exciting use of technology, will continue to place Wigan patients at the heart of how quality care is delivered. It is also worth noting that this announcement marks a key step towards delivery of one of the core pledges of the recent consultation about how care delivery could evolve and improve in the coming years across the Borough."
Trish Anderson, Chief Officer of NHS Wigan Borough Clinical Commissioning Group said:
“We congratulate our GP Practices on their successful bid for extra funding from the Prime Minister’s Challenge Fund. Building on GP Practices already offering evening and weekend appointments, the availability for more appointments to see a GP, nurse or primary care professional in the evenings and at weekends and medical consultations using video, email and telephone will benefit everyone in the Borough. The new service will offer access to GP services by appointment from 8am to 8pm Monday to Friday and 10am to 4pm on a Saturday and Sunday providing an additional 75,000 appointments over the initial nine month operational period”.
NOTES TO EDITORS
· The primary aim of the new service will be to further extend access to GP services over 7 days for 320,000 patients. All three Wigan GP Federations have agreed to work in an alliance partnership to provide the new service from 1 July 2015 to 31 March 2016. The new service will offer access at centres across Wigan Borough between 8am to 8pm Monday to Friday and 10am to 4pm on a Saturday and Sunday - providing an additional 75,000 appointments over the nine month operational period, with an additional 20% of patients being referred to Pharmacy services.
· Final details of opening times will be confirmed once the locations of each centre have been agreed.
· Central government funding for improvements to GP infrastructure has been funded from fines collected from banks that broke the foreign exchange rules.