Primary care is generally the first point of contact for the healthcare system, acting as the ‘front door’ for the NHS. Primary care includes general practice, community pharmacy, dental and optometry (eye health) services.
What we know
- Patients want access to flexible services and same day appointments when it’s urgent
- We spoke to over 600 members of the public and found the majority of people find it difficult to book an appointment and 76% would consider booking an appointment online
What we are trying to achieve
Increase opportunities for and encourage practices to work together to deliver improved services, improve access to general practice services and ensure general practice is strong enough and supported enough to continue providing services long into the future.
- Improve access to primary care to meet the needs of patients, including population growth and new housing developments and making use of new technology such as online consultations and two-way text messaging
- Actively encourage every practice to be part of a local primary care network and work together more collaboratively, expand and support their workforce and offer appointments with other health professionals, such as clinical pharmacists
- Supporting practices with their workload, using the national GP Five Year Forward View and High Impact Actions, sharing best practices to enable practices to deliver
What we have done so far
Following an extensive survey on how people accessed primary care services we have improved our extended access to primary care, offering appointments in the evening and weekends for people. You can find out more about GP Extended Access here.