GPs urged to extend opening hours

SUFFOLK: HEALTH bosses are seeking to encourage 12 GP surgeries in the county to join their colleagues in offering extended hours.

SUFFOLK: HEALTH bosses are seeking to encourage 12 GP surgeries in the county to join their colleagues in offering extended hours.

The majority, 56 out of 68 surgeries, are currently offering the service but there are still a few remaining ones which have not signed up to it.

In April last year NHS Suffolk commissioned extended opening hours for GP surgeries, as directed by the Department of Health. This service is for routine booked appointments outside the regular opening hours of 8am to 6.30pm.

In a report presented to NHS Suffolk Board by Julian Herbert, deputy chief executive it was revealed that feedback from patients of practices with extended hours was positive.


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Later this year a survey will be carried out among patients of practices not signed up to the service to assess whether there is a demand for it.

Dr Janet Massey, a Felixstowe GP, asked for more flexibility from the PCT, either on the phone or in person, to provide advice for doctors after hours or to give results.

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She said: “For some of the rural practices they are set up to do extra hours. We would like to see the PCT extend their hours too.”

It was also noted in the report GP practices in the county have the highest average level of overall patient satisfaction with access to GP services in the East of England.

It also reported that significant progress has been made by many practices to reduce their prescribing spend and decrease the volumes of antibiotic prescribing.

It stated: “In general across NHS Suffolk, GP practices achieve excellent levels of patient satisfaction which reflects the hard work by GP practice staff in this area. There are a number of practices not yet achieving these levels and NHS Suffolk is working with them to accelerate the progress.”

Do you want your practice to provide extended hours? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

Constable Country Rural Practice, East Bergholt

Deben Road Surgery, Ipswich

Lattice Barn Surgery, Ipswich

Leiston Surgery, Leiston

Orchard Street Medical Practice (Dr Solway and Dr Whale), Ipswich

Saxmundham Health Centre, Saxmundham

The Norwich Road Surgery, Ipswich

Wickhambrook Surgery, Wickhambrook

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