Appointments in evenings and at weekends
The NHS is required to provide "improved access" to appointments at GP practices, which mean more appointments in the evenings and at weekends.
The Improved Access Service (IAS) was established in September 2018, initially as a single hub model, providing additional access Monday to Friday 14.00 – 20.00, Saturday 08.00 – 14.00 and Sunday 08.00 – 12.00. The second hub opened in 2019, to ensure equity of access to patients across the city.
The service is run by experienced GPs and advanced nurse practitioners (ANPs). We have also employed a health care assistant (HCA) for a day a week for wound checks, dressings etc.
There is scope in the future to expand the clinical team to provide access to other health care professionals.
In total, the IAS has provided over 93,000 telephone or face-to-face appointments, supporting Norwich practices in the delivery of primary care.
In the last year, we have provided over 17,000 face to face and telephone consultations.
Before and during the pandemic we have continuously monitored the service to ensure it meets the needs of practices and patients and are dedicated to provide the most comprehensive service for our practices.
In response to being outliers for cervical screening, we have recently provided dedicated clinics on Saturdays for cervical smears. Utilisation of these appointments has been good suggesting that access to cervical screening outside of normal surgery hours is popular.