West Lancs CCG is reminding residents over the festive period, that they can now visit a GP or practice nurse in the evenings and weekends at a time that suits them.

Say goodbye to the waiting times with the GP extended access pilot
Your local GP should always be your first point of contact for any non-emergency illnesses that can’t be treated yourself through self-care. In West Lancashire a GP will be available from 8am to 6.30pm on weekdays (although local practice times may vary). However, to address the concerns of residents who may find it difficult to see a GP at a time that suits them, the extended access pilot has been rolled out across West Lancashire.

The extended access pilot is a result of NHS England’s General Practice Forward View, which is a national guide for primary care services over the next five years. Within the guide, it states that GP access in England is to be improved to provide greater GP access to the population at evenings and weekends within the next five years.

In West Lancashire, patients can now visit a GP in the evenings and weekends at certain times. The practices and times are as follows:

Tuesdays from 6.30pm to 8pm at the Skelmersdale Family Practice
Wednesdays from 6.30pm to 8pm at the Matthew Ryder Clinic in Upholland
Wednesdays from 6.30pm to 8pm at the Tarleton Group Practice
Thursdays from 6.30pm to 8pm at the West Lancashire Health Centre in Ormskirk
Saturdays from 10am to 4pm at the Sandy Lane Health Centre in Skelmersdale (GP, nurse and blood clinic)
Sundays from 10am to 2pm at the Sandy Lane Health Centre in Skelmersdale (GP and nurse only)
Making an appointment to see a GP in the evening and at weekends is as simple as calling your local GP practice and making an appointment through the reception as you would do normally, patients can choose which practice they visit from those that are offering this service when making their appointment.

If residents are not currently registered with a GP, you can find out where your local GP surgery is at www.nhs.uk or by calling 0300 311 22 33.

Dr Peter Gregory, a GP in Ormskirk and GP executive lead at NHS West Lancashire CCG, said:

“GPs across West Lancashire have been listening to the concerns of their patients and fully appreciate just how difficult they were finding it to make an appointment at a day and time that suits them, be it due to waiting times to see a GP, or the lack of availability of appointments at convenient times.

“Ultimately, as GPs, the health and wellbeing of our patients is at the forefront of what we do and collectively we have championed the extended access pilot so that we can address these very real issues and make sure that we are available for patients when they need us.

“Collectively, with GPs listening to the concerns of patients and addressing the lack of availability of GP appointments, along with patients using self-care in order to manage those conditions that can easily be managed at home or by a visit to their local pharmacy, we can all help ensure, that especially during these winter months, that GPs are readily available for those instances when a patient really does need to visit their local practice.”

During the festive period, as the extended access pilot does not operate on bank holidays, the service will not be available on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day. Over the Christmas and New Year weekends, the extended access pilot will be available on the following:

Burscough Health Centre, Burscough: Saturday 23 December 10am until 4pm, Sunday 24 December 10am until 2pm, Saturday 30 December 10am until 4pm and Sunday 31 December 10am until 2pm

Sandy Lane Health Centre, Skelmersdale: Saturday 23 December 9am until 4pm, Sunday 24 December 9am until 2pm, Saturday 30 December 9am until 4pm and Sunday 31 December 9am until 2pm.