This winter GP access hubs in Oxfordshire can offer people a routine appointment to see a doctor or practice nurse at the weekend or in the evening.
Patients can book an appointment at a time to suit them by contacting their own surgery. The surgery staff will then advise patients on available extended hours appointment times and the location of the hub. This may not be at the patient’s own practice but will be nearby. GP access hubs are not a ‘walk in’ service or an out of hours service.
Tehmeena Ajmal, the county’s winter director, 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.”
Tehmeena 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.
“If people start to feel unwell they can self-care at home by resting and drinking plenty of fluids. Your local pharmacist can also offer professional advice on sore throats, coughs and colds and recommend the most suitable over the counter medicines to store at home to keep well over winter.
“I would like to encourage everyone to have a personal winter plan ready for when the weather gets worse and the season for flu, coughs and colds kicks in. It’s about being prepared and tackling illnesses at the earliest opportunity.”
Louise West, Practice Manager at The Bell Surgery in Henley said, “Both Henley surgeries are part of the SEOX federation which is made up of 10 locality practices. We have a timetable so patients can attend one of the surgeries from 6.30pm – 8pm every weekday evening and for 3 hours on a Saturday and 3 hours on a Sunday. We also have the system capability of cross-organisational booking so one of our patients can book into an appointment in Wallingford for example and vice-versa – especially good for patients who work in the locality and might wish to see a GP after work if they work in Wallingford.
We advertise our additional surgeries on our website and the SEOX schedule is on all the surgeries websites. The weekend and evening SEOX surgeries run with two clinicians as well: sometime two GPs or a GP and a nurse. These surgeries are very well attended and we rarely have any empty appointments.”
Alternatively, you can join our sponsors, Wellbeing Henley scheme and have access to a GP by phone 24/7. More details can be found here at https://www.wellbeinghenley.com/