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Improving access to GP services over winter

Improving access to GP services over winter

NHS Calderdale Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has invested over £700,000 to help GPs offer more appointments ahead of the winter months.

Majid Azeb, GP at Southowram Surgery

Being able to see a GP quickly is very important to people; delays can cause stress, frustration and sometimes even cause problems to worsen.

The CCG is supporting GPs and patients in Calderdale through:

  • The Winter Resilience scheme, launching in November 2017, which aims to help all GP practices in Calderdale offer more appointments during existing opening hours.
  • The Improved Access Pilot, which started on 4 September 2017, allows patients in Central Halifax to access to GP appointments from 6:30pm to 8pm, Monday – Friday. This month will see extended hours roll out to patients in South Halifax, and all patients in Calderdale should have access to extended hours appointments in their localities from 31 March 2018.
  • Our public engagement on improved access to GP services. Patients can have their say on how GP and primary care services are delivered at

This is in addition to national campaigns that the CCG is supporting:

  • Stay Well This Winter, the NHS’ annual campaign promoting self-care, preparedness and the correct use of NHS services over the winter period. Visit for more information.
  • The GP Online service, which allows patients to Book or cancel appointments online with a GP or nurse, order repeat prescriptions online and more. The service is free and available to everyone who is registered with a GP, and more information is available at

Dr Majid Azeb, a GP at Southowram Surgery and Governing Body Member of Calderdale Clinical Commissioning Group said:

“Waiting times for access to general practice is an important issue, and delays can cause patients stress and frustration, and prolonged discomfort or pain for patients who have health concerns.

“We know that people want better access to GP services, particularly same day appointments and at evenings. This is why we are investing in our local GP practices. We want more people to be able to get an appointment sooner.

“During winter we know more people need to access health care services, therefore, providing more appointments in different ways will mean that there are more opportunities for you to access the care you need.

“The investment will be used to enable all GP practices in Calderdale to offer more appointments between 8am and 6.30pm. We are also piloting extended hours appointments in some GP surgeries and are looking to roll out to all GP surgeries across Calderdale in early 2018.”

Debbie Robinson, Calderdale CCG’s Head of Primary Care Quality and Improvement, said:

“Eight practices across Calderdale recently ran a telephone consultation pilot, the learning from which showed that there is a real appetite in the community for alternative ways of accessing GP services. It also showed us that whatever solution we look at needs to be available to all patients across Calderdale, not just in a few GP surgeries.”

“This is an investment to improve access for all patients by supporting local GPs to offer more appointments. The aim is to ensure that more people can see a GP or health professional at their GP surgery when they need to over the busy winter period.

“We want people in Calderdale to have long, healthy lives; where they remain active and independent for as long as possible supported by high quality services.”

People can have their say on how GP and primary care services should be delivered in Calderdale at

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