GP practices across north east London are changing the way they provide evening and weekend appointments to ensure patients can get help more easily when they need it.
From tomorrow (Saturday Oct 1), appointments will be made available outside of normal practice hours, usually 8am to 6.30pm on weekdays, via two ‘enhanced access’ services.
Patients in north east London (NEL) will be able to book routine appointments, including for things such as vaccinations, health checks, and cancer screening, on weekday evenings from 6.30pm to 8pm and on Saturdays from 9am to 5pm. These routine appointments can be booked via your GP practice in the usual way on the phone or online and will either take place at your local surgery or at a nearby NHS site in your local area.
The changes taking effect this weekend are happening across England. They have been developed locally by primary care networks (PCNs) – groups of local GP practices – which have worked closely with NHS North East London to ensure primary care services meet the needs of local people following a consultation with patients across NEL.
In addition to this, GP Access Hubs will continue to offer access to urgent appointments on weekday evenings between 6.30pm and 10pm (8pm in Hackney and City of London), and on weekends and bank holidays from 8am to 8pm.
If you live in the City of London, Hackney, Tower Hamlets, Waltham Forest or Newham, you can book these urgent appointments by calling your own GP practice as usual during working hours or by calling 111 out of hours.
If you live in Barking and Dagenham, Havering or Redbridge, you can book urgent these appointments by calling the GP hubs booking hotline on 020 3770 1888 (open from 8am-8pm) or by calling NHS 111 24/7.
Dr Mark Rickets, a local GP and clinical lead for primary care at NHS North East London, said: “Having access to an appointment when you need it, is important to all of us.
“Not everyone finds it easy to arrange an appointment during their surgery’s normal opening hours so, working closely with our primary care networks, we’ve changed the way that appointments are provided so it’s easier for people to book one when they need it.
“Making these changes will help ensure patients across north east London can see a GP, nurse, community pharmacist or other health professional at a time which is most convenient for them.”
To find out more, please visit the North East London Health and Care Partnership website or your own GP practice’s website.