Healthwatch Lancashire Statement: 7-day GP services
On the face of it, GP surgeries being open from 8am-8pm, seven days a week, is great news for the people of Lancashire.
Our research shows that 54% of people struggle to get a same day appointment and a further 32% struggle to book a routine one, and our ongoing work speaking to patients in GP surgeries over the past 12 months has shown that this continues to be a major issue.
There is undoubtedly a need for better access to these services and being open later in the evenings and at weekends makes them far more accessible, but, the big question now is what resources will be put in place for the NHS to deliver on this proposal and meet the needs of the public?
Being able to see your GP or have your operation on any day of the week is a great idea. But most doctors are working flat out already, and many practices cannot fill vacancies. This plan will only work if there are many more qualified people to do it.