The NHS is looking to increase the number of appointments available for patients and provide access to GP services 8am – 8pm, 7 days per week.
From October 2017, GP and nurse appointments were available at three hubs located in Central Uxbridge Surgery), Eastcote Health Centre) and the Hesa Centre, Hayes.
Healthwatch Hillingdon has been speaking to Hillingdon’s residents to find out what they think of the new ‘extended hours service”
Healthwatch Hillingdon have published a new report “Extending GP Opening Hours” which outlines the Hillingdon public’s view of the new GP and nurse appointments being offered to them in Hillingdon.
Over 1000 residents responded to a Healthwatch survey which ran over 3 months in late 2017. People were asked what they thought about going to the GP later into the evening, very early in the morning, and on Saturday and Sundays. They were also asked things like, how they would like to book their appointments, where they prefer to go for those appointments and how far they would travel.
Over 800 of those questioned said that they would use the new service in the evening and at the weekend. Although, only a third said they would attend on a Sunday afternoon. Overwhelmingly, 95% of respondents wanted a face to face appointment to see a GP, with most of them preferring to book that appointment through their own surgery.
Residents thought the service was a great idea for working people, but some did recognise the pressure GPs are already under and questioned whether this could lead to their GP working 7 days a week.
Graham Hawkes, Chief Executive Officer of Healthwatch Hillingdon, said:
“With GP Services under extreme pressure and people regularly telling us they are having to wait for their routine GP appointments, Healthwatch think this an excellent initiative. Especially for the working population, who often find it difficult to take time off to attend a GP appointment.
“I think the high response rate to our survey shows how important the public see their GP and the services they offer and there is no doubt that the new ‘extended hours service’ is welcomed by our residents.
“One disappointing element for me is that another service was launched without asking the public their views. The results of our research have shown yet again, that NHS resources could have been used more efficiently by involving the public in designing and shaping new services”
For more information contact: Graham Hawkes, Chief Executive Officer
T: 01895 272997 E: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Editors Notes:
About Healthwatch Hillingdon:
Healthwatch Hillingdon is the independent consumer champion for health and social care in the London Borough of Hillingdon. The organisation helps the public to shape and improve local health and social care in our community. Healthwatch Hillingdon is part of the Healthwatch national network, established by the Government to ensure local patients and users have a greater input to shaping local services.
- To request a printed copy of this report, or another alternative format, please contact:
T: 01895 272997 E: email@example.com
To find out more go to www.healthwatchhillingdon.org.uk