THE first out of hours doctors surgery in Hampshire opened its doors to patients today, October 2.
The new Winchester primary care hub at Badger Farm Surgery allows patients in Winchester, and surrounding villages to see a GP, nurse, or healthcare assistant from 5-8pm on weekdays, 8am – 4pm on Saturdays and 8am -12noon on Sundays.
The new hub is the first in a series proposed for Hampshire, with further centres scheduled to open in Eastleigh, and Romsey ahead of a nationwide rollout of the service by March 2019.
Specialist treatment such as physiotherapy and mental health services will be added to the service in the near future.
Patients can book a routine appointment by ringing their own GP surgery, while urgent appointments at the hub can be booked by calling NHS 111 when their GP surgery is closed.
Staff at the hub will have full access to the patient’s records as long as the patient has given their consent when they book their appointment.
Clinical Commissioning Group chief officer, Heather Hauschild said: “We know it’s not always easy for people to get to see their GP during normal working hours, so this new service gives flexibility and allows people to see a GP at a time that is convenient to them.
“We hope these GP hubs will make patients’ lives easier and ensure that people receive the care they need at a time that suits them.”
Dr Ben Inglis, clinical director at Mid Hampshire Healthcare, added: “We are all really looking forward to providing this excellent new service for local people.”
Winchester MP Steve Brine said: “We have been clear we want to see 100 per cent of the country being able to access GP appointments in evenings and at weekends by April 2019 so this new extended access hub is exactly the right prescription.
“Congratulations to local GPs who have come together to ensure appointments are there to meet local demand. This will be an important part of the local health economy and will rightly be welcomed by patients, GPs as well as those working in secondary care at our hospitals. Ultimately we just want the public to have choices.”