Practice nurses and GPs in West London are now offering booked services seven days a week at two new hubs funded by local commissioners.
The two state-of-the-art hubs are now accepting referrals for GP and practice nurse appointments at the weekend, and on weekday evenings, said West London Clinical Commissioning Group.
“We expect this to be popular, as it provides convenient medical care in a local setting”
The CCG, which covers Kensington and Chelsea, and Queen’s Park and Paddington, said patients were able to make an appointment with one of the hubs via their own practice. The hubs are based at the Violet Melchett Clinic in Flood Walk and the St Charles Centre for Health and Wellbeing in Exmoor Street.
The CCG highlighted that the new hubs were not a walk-in service, though patients turning up without an appointment were welcome to wait for the next available slot.
Available services include routine check-ups, small wound care, sexual health care, and most vaccinations. Hub opening hours are 6-9pm Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm on Saturday, and 9am-1pm on Sunday.
The CCG said the service had been introduced as part of plans to “bring many aspects of care into a more convenient, community setting by moving it into the familiar environment of a GP practice”.
Practice nurses offering ‘seven-day’ service via new hubs
Dr Fiona Butler, chair of West London CCG and a GP at the Redcliffe Surgery, said: “We are proud to say that our patients now have access to a GP, or a practice nurse, seven days a week, including weekday evenings, at the Violet Melchett Clinic and at the St Charles Integrated Care Centre.”
“From our conversations with local people, we expect this to be popular, as it provides convenient medical care in a local setting,” she said.
Making the NHS a “truly seven-day service” by 2020 is a key government policy, which was set out before the last general election.
It covers both extending access to primary care services during out-of-hours periods and expanding staff cover in acute settings at weekends and in the evenings, which has already sparked dispute over junior doctors’ contract hours.