A group of doctors in the Harrogate District are working together to offer more routine primary care appointments to people living in Harrogate and Ripon this winter.
Operating as the Yorkshire Health Network, the organisation is piloting improved access hubs at Mowbray Square in Harrogate and North House in Ripon for appointments in the evenings and at weekends over the next 18 months. Work has also started on developing a service for people living in the more rural areas of the district.
Patients can now book appointments at the clinics through their own practices.
The service has been commissioned by Harrogate and Rural District Clinical Commissioning Group (HaRD CCG) as part of a commitment by NHS England to ensure everyone has easier and more convenient access to GP services.
HaRD CCG Chief Officer Amanda Bloor said:
First and foremost we would always encourage people to use their local pharmacies for advice on minor ailments such as coughs and colds. Improving access to primary care is a really important part of our winter plan, enabling our patients to have additional care in their local community at the right time to prevent unnecessary attendance or admission to hospital.
Yorkshire Health Network Chief Executive Dr Peter Banks said:
NHS England has determined that half the country will benefit from improved access to primary care appointments by March 2018. We are pleased to be in the forefront of delivery of this promise, bringing extra hours of care to our patients this winter when they need us most.
We are not offering a walk-in service, but same-day and pre-bookable appointments are available for everyone. All people need to do is speak to the reception team at their usual practice to get access to all their routine care at a time that suits them.