The public value GP services, but in recent years patients have increasingly reported, through the GP Patient Survey, more difficulty in accessing services including a decline in good overall experience of making an appointment in general practice.
However, good access is not just about getting an appointment when patients need it. It is also about access to the right person, providing the right care, in the right place at the right time.
The Extended Access Service is crucial to:
- ensure everyone has easier and more convenient access to GP services, including appointments at evening and weekends;
- get the best outcomes we possibly can.
Sutton has two extended access hubs located in Robin Hood Lane and the Wrythe Green Surgery. The services provide access to patient weekday evenings 18:30 to 20:00 and 08:00-20:00 on the weekends. This includes 08:00-20:00 bank holiday provision with the expectation that the service is a 365 day a year service. Patient satisfaction for the service remains. During the COVID-19 pandemic the Extended Access hubs set up ‘hot clinics’ for patients with suspected COVID-19 symptoms; this was done at short notice and demonstrates the dedication and responsiveness of our clinical team.
To support better patient access for cervical screening and improve uptake, Sutton PCNs were successful in securing additional funding from RM Partners to deliver cervical screening clinics on weekends. Furthermore, we have been administering nasal flu vaccination to young children to support busy parents to access this important service for their children.