Private company to provide weekend surgeries in Harlow

Politics / Mon 2nd Nov 2015 at 11:16am

THE NHS in west Essex has been successful in obtaining a grant from the Prime Minister’s Challenge Fund to trial GP appointments on Saturdays and Sundays.

Currently, there are five participating practices in Harlow who are taking bookings for the service which is based at a local health centre. Patient feedback so far has been incredibly positive. Other practices in the area will be able to book appointments as the service rolls out in the next few months.

The Weekend GP Service has been set up to provide additional routine GP and nurse appointments on Saturdays and Sundays. It allows patients to see a GP, healthcare assistant or nurse for routine GP appointments, health checks and treatments. People with long term health conditions such as asthma and diabetes can also access these appointments.

Appointments are accessed through a patient’s own participating GP surgery and will be provided through a number of local health centres. This service is for routine, booked appointments only and is not a ‘walk-in service’.

Robert Halfon MP has praised the commitment.

Mr Halfon said: ‘This is fantastic news for residents in Harlow. The Weekend GP service, implemented by Stellar Healthcare, is the first of its kind in the area. GP practices are under extreme pressure nationally and the demand for GP appointments is increasing.

Having a seven-day NHS will reduce pressures on emergency services and A&E departments, like at Princess Alexandra Hospital, so that the services they provide can continue to improve. As a Government we have pledged that people will have access to the NHS services they need seven days a week by 2020.

I met with with Debbie Bodhanya, chief executive of Stellar Healthcare ahead of the launch and I am very pleased that this service has been successfully launched and that patients and staff have started to provide positive feedback.’

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