Dudley Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has listened to patients’ concerns about the difficulties of getting appointments at GP surgeries.
Additional money has been made available to allow extended access to appointments between 8am and 8pm Monday to Friday and at weekends.
Patients can get pre-booked appointments and telephone advice in each of Dudley’s five localities through their GP surgery, or through the Urgent Care Centre at Russells Hall Hospital outside normal opening hours.
This will offer better flexibility closer to home for those patients who work during weekdays, and should reduce the need for patients to use hospital accident and emergency services.
Steve Wellings, Chair, Primary Care Commissioning Committee said, Dudley CCG said: “This is really good news for patients in Dudley, especially with the Winter period approaching.
We hope this will make it easier for patients to get advice and appointments through our GP surgeries, and would encourage them to use the extended service.
They can also get urgent advice by calling 111, and local pharmacists are happy to help with minor ailments.
It’s important that people only use the hospital accident and emergency services for serious issues. Minor illnesses could and should be treated at home, and that will both save time and reduce the pressure on those emergency services.”
To book an evening or weekend appointment, patients should contact their own practice during normal opening hours.