Almost 100,000 additional general practice appointments will be available right across the country over the Easter Bank Holiday weekend, with patients in Lancashire and South Cumbria 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 in Lancashire and South Cumbria 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.
Dr David Levy, Medical Director for the NHS in the North West, said: “Across Lancashire and South Cumbria, we have arranged for additional for urgent dental appointments on each of the days over the Easter weekend. Compared to Easter 2018, there is additional capacity on each day.
"More pharmacies are open than in 2018 in most of our CCG areas on each of the bank holidays. Clinical Commissioning Groups locally have also reviewed GP access and, where appropriate, have arranged for additional appointments over the Easter period.
"If you aren’t sure of where to find your local services, call the NHS111 or go to their website.”
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.