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Greater Manchester patients to get seven-day GP access

Greater Manchester patients to get seven-day GP access

A £41m plan to give everyone in Greater Manchester seven-day GP access has been approved.

The GM Health and Social Care Partnership Board said the move would make 24/7 urgent primary care provision easier for patients to access. The additional access will revolve around neighbourhood hubs and "clusters" where weekend and evening appointments will be available.

The board said it hopes the plans will reduce pressure on hospital A&E units. The investment will also provide patients access to a range of other health and social care services such as diagnostics, blood tests and X-rays as well as supporting nursing and residential homes.

Partnership chairman Lord Peter Smith said: "This £41m investment will ensure that our GPs across Greater Manchester are supported to provide high quality care now and in the future.

Putting primary care back at the heart of our local communities is absolutely the right thing to do and shows how devolution can make gains for patients' right across Greater Manchester."

The plans do not mean that every GP practice in the region will have extra opening hours. Instead it is envisaged patients having enhanced access at the neighbourhood level through "clusters" of practices working together, supported by a designated hub serving around 50,000 patients.

The board, which took control of the region's £6bn health and social care budget in 2016, was told 2,500 patients who could be treated elsewhere are dealt with every day in A&E units across the region.

The plan will build on some schemes already in operation in Greater Manchester, such as in Bury. Bury has had full extended GP access in place since January 2015 with weekday appointments available up to 20:00, and from 08:00 to 18:00 at weekends, delivered from three hub sites.

Source: BBC

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