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Extended primary care access models across East Lancashire

NHS East Lancashire CCG is pleased to announce that following the 12 week consultation and feedback from patients that we received in summer 2016, a consortium of GP Provider Organisations, which are made up of local GP practices, are collaborating together to develop and deliver new models of extended GP services. The models, being developed by GP Provider Organisations and the CCG, involving patients from the beginning, will offer extended access to GP services across East Lancashire. The aim is to provide improved access for patients until 8pm on weekday evenings and some provision on the weekend, by ringing their own GP practice or the NHS 111 service.

It is anticipated that the GP Provider Organisations will begin to offer the new extended GP services in Hyndburn by autumn 2017. While the GP Provider Organisations prepare to take on this role, the CCG have agreed with the current provider of the Walk in Centre, East Lancashire Medical Services (ELMS), that we will extend the Walk in Centre service. We anticipate that the Walk in Centre will continue until 30 September 2017. This new model is not a replacement for the Walk in Centre but addresses the need identified by the government’s GP Forward View document for extended primary care access.

Following the launch in Hyndburn, the GP Provider Organisations will work with local GPs and patients to introduce extended primary care access across the other localities in East Lancashire throughout 2017 and 2018. The CCG and the GP Provider Organisations are committed to involving patients and local partners in the development.

A representative of the GP Provider Organisations said, “We have been working in collaboration to try and understand the needs of our patients and member practices in relation to extended GP access. We will base the final models on discussions we have had and the views of our patients and member practices. We hope to provide a realistically achievable high quality service for the patients of East Lancashire.”

GP Provider Organisations are groups of GPs who are working collaboratively together to strengthen primary care and GP services. In East Lancashire there are four GP Provider Organisations:

- East Lancashire Union of GPs (EU)
- Pendle Care Direct
- Ribblesdale Health Care
- East Lancashire Medical Services (ELMS)

In addition, the Local Medical Committee (LMC) is working collaboratively with the GP Provider Organisations and the CCG to represent all practices including a small number of GP practices who are not members of a GP Provider Organisation.

Sharon Martin, Director of Performance and Delivery at NHS East Lancashire CCG said:

“We have been working with patients to develop and improve access to GP services in East Lancashire since 2014/15 when we co-produced our principles for access to GP services with patients. This culminated in our large 12 week consultation in the summer where we received over 2000 responses, which were, in the majority, in favour of our proposal to introduce extended GP access across the area. Now, thanks to the dedication and hard work of our GP Provider Organisations we are planning to launch the new Hyndburn model of GP access by autumn 2017. In the meantime, we have agreed to extend the contract to continue the Walk in Centre service until September 2017. Following this we will conduct a phased roll out of the new models across East Lancashire. I am truly grateful for the contributions of patients, partners and of course, our GP member practices. We can genuinely say that this new service will be designed by patients and GPs working in collaboration with the CCG.”