Late and weekend GP appointments available in Kettering, Rushden and Wellingborough...but not Corby
A service which makes GP appointments available in the evening and at weekends has been rolled out across Northamptonshire - but not in Corby.
In 2014 the Government pledged to extend opening hours at GP surgeries across the country and Nene CCG is the latest to introduce the GP Extended Access Service.
The service means appointments will be available until 8pm from Monday to Friday and in the mornings at the weekends and on bank holidays at central surgeries.
But surgeries in Corby overseen by Corby CCG - the smallest CCG in the country - are yet to have the GP Extended Access Service.
A Corby CCG spokesman said evening appointments would be available from April next year.
A spokesman said: “The residents of Corby have had access to primary care services, including GPs and nurses, between 8am until 8pm, weekends and bank holidays since the opening of the town’s Urgent Care Centre, locally known as the walk-in centre.
“From April 1, 2019, people will be able to book appointments between 8am until 8pm.”
However, the Urgent Care Centre does not see patients seeking repeat prescriptions, sick notes or people with an ongoing condition that doesn’t require immediate medical intervention.
This means people in Corby needing one of those services who are unable to attend a GP appointment in normal hours will not have the same benefits as those elsewhere in the county for now.
Nene CCG’s introduction of the service means an additional 334 appointments will be available per week elsewhere in Northamptonshire.
The health body says there will be appointments at more convenient times and there will be a wide range of appointments available with different healthcare professionals.
Dr Naomi Caldwell, clinical primary care lead at at Nene CCG, said: “We understand our patients are leading increasingly busy lives and there is now much more demand to be able to see a GP or nurse outside normal working hours. “The GP Extended Access Service has been commissioned to make it much more convenient for patients to book an appointment at a time which suits them, including evenings and weekends.
“Patients needing a primary care appointment will still contact their GP practice in the usual way but now may be offered an appointment with the GP Extended Access Service, if this is right for them.”
Only patients with an appointment will be seen as it is not a walk-in service.
All Extended Access appointments in Kettering will take place at Weavers Medical, Prospect House.
Appointments will be available until 8pm between Monday to Friday and from 8.30am to 12.30pm on Saturdays and bank holidays.
The Kettering Hub NHS website says an 8.30am to 12.30pm ‘call back Sunday’ is coming soon.
All Extended Access appointments in Wellingborough will take place at Albany House Medical Centre in Queen Street.
All Extended Access appointments in East Northants will take place at Harborough Field Surgery, Newton Road, Rushden.
Appointments in Wellingborough and Rushden will be available until 8pm between Monday and Friday and between 8am and midday on weekends and bank holidays.
The service can see babies and children, and nurse appointments for certain treatments may be available where required.
Patients will still need to contact their GP practice in the usual way to request an appointment.
If there is no appointment available at the practice, patients may be offered an appointment with the GP Extended Access Service at the central practice if this is right for them.
Patients requesting an extended hours appointment may not see their own GP if they are travelling to another surgery.
Patients preferring to see their usual GP or practice nurse should book an appointment with their practice during normal opening hours.
Patients needing urgent care when their practice is closed should continue to call NHS 111 in the usual way.