As winter approaches, local doctors are reminding patients in Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire that they can now book appointments on weekday evenings up to 8pm as well as during the weekend.
The service aims to make it easier for people who may not be able to access a GP or other healthcare professional during normal working hours, while also relieving pressure on the region’s A&E departments.
Dr Jonathan Hayes, local GP and CCG Chair said:
We know that some groups, including those who work during the week or rely on a working carer, can struggle to arrange a convenient appointment. But with the evening and weekend scheme, GP practices across our area can arrange appointments at a time that suits you.
Alongside innovations like online and telephone GP consultations, this is a great example of how we’re changing primary care services to meet people’s changing needs and lifestyles. And as well as being better for patients, we’re hoping that the service will help to relieve pressure on our local hospitals, especially during the busy winter period.
Evening and weekend appointments are available throughout the year, with more slots allocated during the winter months in response to increased demand.
Patients can book an appointment by speaking to their practice team, who can arrange for them to see an appropriate healthcare professional either at their practice, or at a nearby practice.
Evening appointments are available until 8pm on weekdays and at various times during weekends, including bank holidays and the Easter, Christmas and New Year period.
People are also being encouraged to use the NHS App, which enables patients to check their symptoms, get urgent advice, book and cancel GP appointments, order repeat prescriptions and securely view their GP medical record. It can be downloaded via the Apple App Store and Google Play.
The NHS App is for people aged 13 and over who are registered with a GP practice.