Almost 100,000 additional general practice appointments will be available right across the country over the Easter Bank Holiday weekend, with patients across the North East and Yorkshire set to benefit from local plans for convenient care, the NHS has confirmed.
As part of its Long Term Plan for the health service, the NHS is making access to primary care including local surgeries and their wider teams more convenient, with evening and weekend consultations being available in all regions.
Over the long weekend, thanks to the increased number of appointments available, people in need of medical advice and help will be more likely to be able to see their local family doctor than in previous years, offering more convenience and stopping problems getting worse.
With more than 98,000 additional appointments available in general practice over the bank holiday across England, extended access across the North East and Yorkshire will help to meet the traditionally high demand over the Easter period.
The NHS is encouraging people to “help us to help you” by taking advantage of the range of health services available, including local surgeries, the 111 phone line and website, as well as calling 999 or going to A&E in an emergency.
This will ensure patients get seen in the right place and at the right time, often closer to home, and helps to ease the pressures on busy hospitals.
Professor Chris Gray, a medical director for the NHS in the North East and Yorkshire region, said:
“If people have a non-emergency health problem over the Easter period, they should call 111 or go online to 111.nhs.uk. By doing this, they will receive the most appropriate care and advice and will get the help they need, quickly. Pharmacists also can provide instant, confidential advice and treatment for minor illnesses, without the need to make an appointment. By following this simple advice it will allow those who need emergency care in A&E to access it much more quickly.”
At the end of 2018 NHS England confirmed that evening and weekend appointments are available across the country, with an average of 24,500 additional extended access GP appointments open for patients each day.
This equates to 98,000 additional appointments being available over the four-day bank holiday and means there is far greater capacity and more options for patients to get their needs met over the extended break.
100% of the population will have access to extended access appointments over the bank holiday weekend, either at their local practice or at a hub site.
You can find out which pharmacies are open over the bank holiday period by visiting the Pharmacy Information page.