Enfield Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is pleased to announce that we have secured funding to deliver 8am – 8pm 7 day access to GP primary care services in line with the Government’s General Practice Forward View.
The funding will be used to establish up to four GP access hubs across the borough. Based at an existing GP practice within a geographic footprint, the hubs will be accessible to patients as an extension of current GP services to deliver 8 am - 8 pm 7 day access. These hubs will provide much needed extra GP appointments to Enfield residents, especially over the coming winter months.
This is about bringing our local GP services into the 21st century and making sure it’s much easier for people to get the care they need when they want it. We also hope it will reduce some of the pressure on other local health services, such as accident and emergency, urgent care and out of hours services, which people often turn to if they can’t see a family doctor.
Dr Mo Abedi, local GP and Chair of NHS Enfield Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) said:
“This additional funding is great news for Enfield residents and will provide much needed additional GP appointments, especially over the coming winter months. Additionally, this will provide support for GP practices and their staff in managing demand for access to GP services.”
Our aim is to make GP services more accessible for patients, especially parents, carers, and people of working age. We know that many people struggle to find GP appointments that fit in with their family life and work commitments. By offering evening and weekend appointments we can make it easier for local people to see a GP at a time that suits them.
Building on the learning from the previous GP urgent access pilot, which ran from October 2015 to March this year, Enfield CCG is drawing up plans for GP appointments to be available at four GP hubs across Enfield, rather than just two hubs, which should make it easier for patients to travel to. Having this flexibility will mean those people who don’t mind seeing a different GP can get an appointment at one of the hubs at a time convenient to them, thereby freeing up appointments for those who would rather see their own GP or for the elderly or frail who would find it difficult to get to a GP hub further away.
Enfield CCG is working with all of our GP member practices and the Local Medical Committee to deliver this service, which we are planning to launch between December and January. Further details of the service will follow shortly.
There are further positive developments in relation to primary care GP services in Enfield. We are also investing in practice nurse staff. Following on from the successful recruitment of five nurses onto the General Practice Nurse Trainee Programme last year, Enfield CCG has secured funding for a further eight places in 2017/18. The programme enables qualified nurses to undertake a year-long postgraduate training programme at the University of Hertfordshire while working within host practices in Enfield for the remainder of the week. This programme offers the opportunity to recruit and retain much-needed nursing capacity within our local general practices.
In addition, four general practice nurses in Enfield will be undertaking the Advanced Nurse Practitioner Programme which will enable them to increase their range of skills and experience to see patients with a wider range of health conditions.