A new strategy for coping with winter pressures in Oxfordshire has been launched
Thanks to a new winter strategy, patients in Oxfordshire will have access to evening and weekend appointments during the colder months as a new GP service is launched, according to the Bicester Advertiser.
As part of the aim to take pressure off A&E services, the county’s winter director of health and care service, Tehmeena Ajmal, is creating more availability at GP surgeries.
Ajmal said: “GP access hubs offer patients appointments at more convenient times, if they work late or have other commitments.
“It means patients can see a GP, or other appropriate medical professional, for advice and treatment promptly at a time that suits them even though it may not be at their own surgery.
“It could prevent a condition from getting worse this winter and could free up practice time for GPs to see more vulnerable patients, especially older people, reducing the risk of them being admitted to A&E.”
She added: “As we enter the busy winter period the scheme will help to relieve some of the pressure that practices are experiencing during usual opening hours, helping GPs to meet the increasing demand for appointments.”
The entire county will benefit, with GP access hubs operating out of existing surgeries. Appointments can be booked through the surgeries themselves.
The news of these hubs comes a few months after the annual GP Survey revealed that over a quarter of Oxfordshire patients were forced to wait a week or more for an appointment.
Ajmal concluded: “As we enter the busy winter period the scheme will help to relieve some of the pressure that practices are experiencing during usual opening hours, helping GPs to meet the increasing demand for appointments.”