Since Monday GP and nurse appointments have been available during the evening and at the weekend for people across Coastal West Sussex.
This means that urgent appointments are available up to 8pm during the week, and during clinics on a Saturday and Sunday.
This aims to improve access to GP appointments and help local people to get the help and support they need.
The appointments are available at local GP access hubs, run from GP surgeries, and will be routine and urgent appointments with a doctor, nurse or healthcare professional.
The teams will see new illnesses when you urgently need to see a health professional, and offer planned appointments such as family planning and smear tests that can be hard to arrange whilst at work or when you are caring for family or a loved one.
You book into the GP access hubs via your normal GP practice, and you may be offered an appointment at one of the hubs at the weekend if you call NHS 111 for urgent health advice and support.
The hubs may be at your GP practice or they may be at a neighbouring GP practice locally in the community around you.
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The teams will have access to your medical records with your consent, and any care they provide will be added to your notes so your GP practice can continue any ongoing care.
This comes after the local NHS carried out a large survey on primary and urgent care services, and people told us they wanted a wider range of appointments.
Two out of three people said that said they would use GP appointments outside of normal working hours. Of those, nearly 40 per cent said they would use evening and Saturday appointments.
Younger people, carers of children and working age people with long-term conditions were particular interested in extended hours so they could work around existing commitments.
For example one person said: “I work 12-hour shifts for the NHS hospital so it’s hard to get an appointment to see my doctor as I don’t finish work till 8pm.”
The service is run by Innovations in Primary Care (IPC), a not-for-profit company owned by local GP practices.
IPC has been running the MIAMI clinics in Adur and Worthing for the past three years, which has offered a very similar service, offering help for ‘Minor Injury Assessment & Minor Illnesses’.
These clinics have been successful and helped local people to access the help they need outside of normal opening times.
We hope that this roll out of the hubs across the whole of Coastal West Sussex will mean that all patients registered with a GP practice in our area can benefit.
Patients can book into these appointments by calling your registered GP practice in the normal way, and they will be able to access the booking system and make sure you receive the help and support you need.
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