Norwich Practices offer 3400 more appointments this winter
GP practices were open between Christmas and New Year 2017, with more on-the-day appointments made available. There was also extra capacity in the 111 and out of hours services and at the walk-in centre in Norwich.
Now, Norwich GP Practices are offering additional appointments over the winter months of 2018, to see a nurse, a clinical pharmacist, a doctor or to have a telephone conversation.
All 23 practices in Norwich are taking part.
For some practices this would mean 8-10 extra appointments per week (averaging 1 or 2 per day) and for larger practices this may mean between 25-30 extra appointments per week (averaging about 5 a day.) The total number of additional appointments offered will be around 3400, over 23 practices over 8 weeks.
The arrangements were proposed by OneNorwich, the alliance of GP Practices which is working to strengthen general practice in the city and improve care for patients.
Dr Simon Cooke, the chair of OneNorwich said: “For some time, Norwich general practice has been under huge pressure to meet the workload demands of our increasingly elderly and frail population. Christmas, New Year and winter is always an extremely busy period for the NHS, and we have known since September that this winter could be even more difficult because of the strain of flu virus in circulation. So Norwich general practice is very pleased to contribute still more to help meet the demands on our system, though this will bring with it further strain on already pressured organisations.
If you have an appointment, “keep it, or cancel it”
If you are going to make an appointment please think, can you:
- Manage your problem by looking after yourself better, keeping warm, eating, drinking and sleeping sensibly?
- Seek advice from NHS choices (www.nhs.uk) on how best to manage your symptoms?
- Seek advice/treatment from your local pharmacist or NHS111?
Dr Cooke added: “Only those with serious ongoing problems will normally need to ask for more help from the NHS. We would also ask people to be patient with their general practices when trying to get through on the telephone and not to choose to simply go to local accident and emergency departments in our hospitals with problems that are not emergencies or not accident related. Please take advice from NHS 111, your local pharmacist, or your GP surgery before choosing to call an ambulance or going to a hospital casualty department. ”