Enhanced Access Service

Posted by: devon - Posted on:

At the moment, Bromley patients who cannot get an immediate GP appointment at their own practice, can be booked into an appointment at a ‘GP Access Hub’.   These are currently available from 4pm to 8pm Monday-Friday evenings and 8am to 8pm at weekends and Bank Holidays.  These services will be replaced by the new enhanced access services.

What is changing?

From 1st October 2022, the responsibility for who arranges enhanced access services across England is changing.  It is moving from clinical commissioning groups to primary care networks (PCNs). PCNs are groups of practices working together over a neighbourhood location to provide better care to their patients.  Our surgery is a part of Orpington Primary Care Network along with 9 other practices in Orpington and Petts Wood.

Why is it changing?

NHS England has decide to initiate this change

  • It means Bromley GPs and other health professionals working in our PCN will have more say over how the additional appointments could be used to meet the needs of our patients.
  • It could lead to prioritising preventative care such as vaccination programmes, health checks for vulnerable groups, or supporting the management of long-term conditions.
  • The aim is to give patients better access to non-urgent appointments outside of their practice’s normal opening hours at a convenient location close to them.

When will Enhanced Access appointments will be available?

  • From 1st October, GP services will be available up to 8pm in the evenings from Monday to Friday, and from 9am-5pm on Saturdays.
  • Appointments will be bookable in advance and on the same day.
  • A mix of services will be available within these additional hours with access to a range of health professionals working in the primary care team, not just GPs. The exact mix of what is provided will be determined based on local health needs, current usage of out-of-hours services and the views of patients. The PCN is currently seeking patient views through a survey to ascertain patient preferences in our area.  This will inform what services are provided.

How can I book Enhanced Access appointments?

  • Currently, your registered GP practice will book your Enhanced Access appointment for you.

Where will the Enhanced Access clinics take place?

  • There will be a choice of ways to access appointments depending on clinical need, such as telephone, on-line consultation, or face-to-face.
  • If a face-to-face appointment is needed, this will be at a GP practice in the local area, not necessarily your own.