Dr Neil O’Brien, Clinical Chief Officer, NHS North Durham CCG
FROM September 1, GPs in Chester-le-Street, Derwentside and Durham have been working together to offer additional GP and nurse appointments from 6.30pm on weekday evenings and on weekend mornings to all patients registered with a practice in North Durham.
This initiative is part of the government’s drive to give patients more access to family doctors for routine, as well as urgent same day, treatment and will hopefully mean that patients will use GPs rather than accident and emergency departments when they are unwell.
These new GP and nurse appointments are bookable through your GP surgery and are available to all patients.
However, we expect that they will be particularly useful to those who find it difficult to get to see a GP or nurse during normal surgery hours – such as teachers, those working in retail, factories or call centres, or in construction jobs, as well as those who work away or outside of the area, working parents and those with other caring responsibilities.
These additional GP and nurse appointments are being delivered from three ‘hub’ GP surgeries across North Durham, but are available to any patient from a Chester-le-Street, Derwentside or Durham practice.
While these additional appointments may not be at your usual surgery or with your usual doctor, the doctor or nurse you see will, with your consent, be able to see your patient record meaning that you will be able to access the same level of care as you would if you saw your own GP in your own surgery.