​Improving access to GP services ​



Southwark residents have told us they sometimes find it difficult to get an appointment with their GP or practice nurse. Using feedback from local people about their experience of accessing care for both routine and urgent needs we have put in place a new service to increase the number of appointments available as part of our Primary and Community Care strategy.

The CCG has invested £2 million per year in the Extended Primary Care Service. This extension of your GP practice offers more appointments in the daytime, evening and at weekends making it easier for you to get advice from a doctor or nurse at a time that suits you. Local GP practices are working together to deliver the extra appointments from two sites in the north and south of the borough.

Find out how the Extended Primary Care Service works.

How did we develop our plans

Following a review of urgent care services in south Southwark in October 2013, the CCG began speaking to local people to fully understand what they think is important when they need routine or urgent care. People told us they want better access to advice and treatment both in and out of core GP hours, a more consistent and joined up healthcare system that is easier to navigate and more consideration for alternative ways to provide care - such as telephone and online consultations.

Using this feedback we developed a proposal to give patients extended access to a GP or practice nurse. Southwark was one of the 20 successful Prime Minister's Challenge Fund sites nationally to pilot a new model for accessing primary care services.

The Extended Primary Care Service is open from 8am – 8pm, 7 days a week from two sites in Southwark.The service has been operating in south Southwark since ovember 2014 and in north Southwark since April 2015. Patients get an appointment by contacting their usual GP practice or the GP out-of-hours service as this is not a walk-in service. 

The CCG has recently commissioned an independent review of the Extended Primary Care Service. You can access the summary evaluation and the CCG's management response here.