Same day access to a GP

Action has been taken in response to consistent feedback from patients that they struggle to get an appointment with their GP.

The so-called ‘8am rush’ when people phone for a GP appointment means patients are seen on a first come, first serve basis. This can leave some people in real need without the support they desperately require.

That’s why a new ‘Same Day Access’ service has been introduced, providing additional capacity for patients who are unable to access an appointment at their own surgery. Patients who need to be seen are triaged and redirected to a different GP in the borough for an appointment on that same day, if appropriate.

Currently, this model only exists in parts of the borough, but in time it is hoped all GP practices in Brent can introduce something similar. It’s important that this is driven by GPs and that we don’t try to find a ‘one size fits all’ model, as we know different practices have different demands.

GPs have already been successful in providing additional appointments in the evenings and at weekends through our ‘Access Hubs’ model, which has over the last twelve months created almost 10,000 additional GP appointments for the people of Brent.

The ‘Same Day Access’ service that some GPs are providing has built on the success of the ‘Access Hubs’ model and works in a similar way, so we are confident it can help us provide even more GP appointments.

We can also see from initial feedback that the additional same day GP appointments we are providing are helping the whole of the local healthcare system. At one practice that is part of the scheme, data revealed that over 80% of patients who received an appointment said that if they hadn’t been seen by a GP that day, they would have attended A&E. Increasing demand on that already stretched service.

The introduction of a ‘Same Day Access’ service is just one way of managing demand on GPs. Additional appointments in the evening and at weekends, the use of video and phone consultations, redirecting patients to other healthcare professionals such as nurses, the increased use of pharmacies and using the NHS App to order repeat prescriptions or view GP health records are all ways in which demand can be managed better.

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