A new six-month trial will see patients in the North West have greater access to GPs, with surgeries opened into the evening and on weekends in a bid to reduce the number of unnecessary A&E visits.
Practices in Radcliffe, Heywood and Middleton, Greater Manchester, will use their share of a £2m grant to make big improvements to their patient services. They have decided to spend the money on seven-day GP access.
Lead doctor for GPs in Bury, Dr Kiran Patel, said extending GP hours will mean less waiting time for patients, who will be quickly assessed by a medical professional.
“Many people struggle to get appointments outside their working hours and this will allow that to happen while taking pressure off A&E. If we can get this stuff working, it will make a big difference. Radcliffe is a deprived part of Bury with significant health needs,” he said.
“It will take the stress off A&E. There will be more time for patients who need to be there and it will make sure patients get seen by the right people the first time round.”
The ground-breaking trial is set to get under way at the end of October. The changes could be implemented throughout Greater Manchester if the trial is a success.
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