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CCG scraps its seven-day GP access due to lack of demand


12 June 2015

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NHS Hambleton, Richmondshire and Whitby Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has stopped a pilot testing seven day access to GP services, due to a lack of patient demand.

The scheme was active for just four months and is being scrapped as 12% of Sunday appointments and less than half of Saturday appointments were being used, they told Pulse.

NHS Hambleton, Richmondshire and Whitby Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has stopped a pilot testing seven day access to GP services, due to a lack of patient demand.

The scheme was active for just four months and is being scrapped as 12% of Sunday appointments and less than half of Saturday appointments were being used, they told Pulse.

Vicky Pleydell, clinical lead for the CCG said: “It was also interesting to note that many patients did not want to book appointments at surgeries other than their own, which shows that the ‘hub’ model of delivery was not popular and something we need to consider moving forward.”

Professor Maureen Baker, chair of the Royal College of GPs, said: “Seven day access to GP surgeries will be used and valued in some areas, but not everywhere, which is why it is essential that clinical commissioning groups have the autonomy to tailor services to the needs of their local population. 

 
“The Prime Minister’s Challenge Fund is a welcome source of funding for general practice at a time when resources are scare and we have a severe shortage of family doctors. But GPs should be free to use these resources where they are most needed, in the best interests of their patients which, for some communities will involve offering seven-day access, and in others won’t.
 
"Access to GP services is extremely important but prioritising weekend and evening access must not come at the expense of access and services during normal hours so that patients end up worse off,” she said.
 

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