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Here you can find the answers to all of our frequently asked questions about the new Enhanced Access services from 1st October 2022. More information will be published in the coming weeks on specific locations and appointments available. This page will be regularly updated with more FAQs.

What is enhanced access?

GP surgeries are working together in groups called Primary Care Networks (PCNs). From October 2022, these networks of surgeries are going to offer evening and weekend appointments, at a variety of locations in the local area, that are open to all their registered patients. This is part of a government initiative called “Enhanced Access”.

How is this different to what happens now?

Your practice will already offer appointments outside of normal working hours. The difference from October will be that these appointments may be at different times, and different locations, depending on which practice you are registered with. This is because under Enhanced Access, your surgery will be collaborating with neighbouring surgeries, and coordinating appointments across a variety of times, dates and locations in order to improve services in general practice and primary care.

When will these appointments take place?

As a minimum, appointments will be offered between 6:30pm – 8pm, Monday – Friday, and 9am – 5pm on Saturday. Depending on your practice, there may also be appointments offered outside of these times, for example later in the evening and/or early in the morning.

What types of appointments will be offered?

A range of appointment types will be offered during these times, to meet the diverse needs of patients. These could include things like GP consultations, smear tests, vaccinations, calls, and medication reviews, just as examples.

How do I book my appointment?

You can book your appointment via your GP practice receptionist, who will be able to see all the “Enhanced Access” appointments available to you and book you an appropriate time and place. You will also be able to book some appointments online via the NHS App, and some appointments will be available via NHS 111 on the day – more details to follow.

How do I cancel my appointment?

You can cancel your appointment via the usual route of calling your local GP practice which you are registered with. We are currently looking at other solutions on how to do this – more details to follow.

Can I just turn up or do I need an appointment?

You need to have an appointment, which will be pre-booked either via your practice, online or via NHS 111.  

Can I be referred to other local services if needed?

Yes, all clinicians working within the service will have the ability to refer onwards to another local service provider, should this be needed.

Do the clinicians have access to my full medical record/history?

You will be asked at the time of booking to give consent for the clinician to see previous notes and medical records. This allows the clinician to see for example what treatment, advice or prescription has helped you in the past, and means that they are better equipped to provide you with safe and effective care during your appointment. It also means that they can update your medical record there and then, so that your registered GP can see it when you visit the practice in the future.

What consultation types are available?

Currently, the majority of the appointments are face-to-face with some telephone appointments. Online consultations are currently being developed and will be available when the technology allows it.

Will I be able to see my usual GP?

On some occasions this may be possible. Your practice receptionist will be able to give you the relevant details when booking your appointment.

How have you decided on the service offer?

We asked you for your views via an online survey circulated in spring this year and received over 20,000 responses. This feedback has been collated and built into the plans, alongside considerations regarding workforce, logistics, and population health data. Taking all of this into account, practices have worked together to create a service that will meet your needs.

How can I feedback on the service I use?

You can leave feedback via your practice. Alternatively, there will be a poster in the location of your appointment which displays a QR code; you can just scan this via your smart phone which will take you to the online feedback form. There will also be a number of paper feedback forms available while you attend your appointment.

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