Bradford GP hours trial may lead to a shake-up

First published in News Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Photograph of the Author by , T&A Reporter

A shake-up of the way GP services are provided could be on the way in Bradford following a £100,000 trial of extended opening hours over the festive period and January weekends.

The move was possible because of extra money pumped in by NHS England, but there were also some costs for the Bradford City Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), which buys in the services used by GP practices.

Results of the trial suggest that many of those who attended a GP appointment during those periods would otherwise have gone to accident or emergency or sought help via the NHS 111 telephone number.

Because that was avoided, it is believed there was less pressure on those elements of the health service, which are traditionally very busy. However, a financial assessment shows there were extra costs for the CCG.

CCG chief officer Helen Hirst said: “The more we do in primary care, the less we need acute services.”

She acknowledged the cost implications of providing extended access through GP surgeries.

“How do we square that circle? We don’t have money to throw at it,” she said. “We have to get primary care working in a more efficient way. We will have to put money in, to enable primary care to change and withdraw the money when it has changed,” she said.

It is expected there will be further developments with that process later in the year.

A report on the extended openings to the CCG’s governors shows 20 of the city’s GP surgeries took part. NHS England contributed £29,317, though the total cost was £108,960.

During the December openings, 58 per cent of appointments were booked out, though six per cent of patients failed to attend. During January, 61 per cent of appointments were booked, though again six per cent of patients did not turn up.

Those who did attend were questioned and over Christmas 60 per cent said they would have used an urgent care service instead, had the practice not been open.

In January, the figure was 39 per cent who would have looked elsewhere for treatment.

“When looking at the A&E figures for January, the relatively low numbers at Bradford, and the that the four hour standard was met, may indicate that it did have a positive impact,” states the report. The four hour standard is the timespan in which patients attending A&E should expect to receive medical attention.

Comments (9)

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10:23am Sat 17 May 14

pcmanners says...

This is just playing with the situation. The NHS will be privatised after the next election and once people have to pay for their GP visits they will stop taking advantage of the system.
This is just playing with the situation. The NHS will be privatised after the next election and once people have to pay for their GP visits they will stop taking advantage of the system. pcmanners
  • Score: 0

5:14pm Sat 17 May 14

PeterBooth says...

It is the BOOKING SYSTEM for appointments which is a total farce. At my surgery in Wibsey it is almost impossible to book a routine appointment for a couple of weeks ahead, system wont allow it "computer says no" The normal procedure, along with sometimes 10 others is to sit in the surgery porch at 7.30 am for doors opening at 8am. I then get to see a doctor within about an hour but would happily have waited for a couple of weeks .
It is the BOOKING SYSTEM for appointments which is a total farce. At my surgery in Wibsey it is almost impossible to book a routine appointment for a couple of weeks ahead, system wont allow it "computer says no" The normal procedure, along with sometimes 10 others is to sit in the surgery porch at 7.30 am for doors opening at 8am. I then get to see a doctor within about an hour but would happily have waited for a couple of weeks . PeterBooth
  • Score: 5

6:13pm Sat 17 May 14

Yorkshire Lass says...

It is not always the surgeries fault. How many times has it been reported about people who have an appointment, not turning up and not even bothering to cancel? This is a big problem with most surgeries but nobody seems bother.
It is not always the surgeries fault. How many times has it been reported about people who have an appointment, not turning up and not even bothering to cancel? This is a big problem with most surgeries but nobody seems bother. Yorkshire Lass
  • Score: 5

6:22pm Sat 17 May 14

awasteoftime says...

Illness is not like office work when people may work 9.00 to 5.00. It is not possible to predict when you wish to see your GP and if you are of working age you will wish to visit the GP outside office hours or maybe a Saturday. The big problem is that under Blair GP's were given new contracts with a very large pay rise but a reduction in what they are contracted to do. They no longer are required to work outside surgery time, this is left to others. So patients often fly off the A&E.
If many other organisations are able to provide services for up to 12 hours/day surely those delivery health care should offer something better and maybe for 6 days.
Getting appointments is getting almost impossible so something has to change. Patients who fail to turn up for appointments should b4e fined and then 3 strikes and they are out, that would help.
Illness is not like office work when people may work 9.00 to 5.00. It is not possible to predict when you wish to see your GP and if you are of working age you will wish to visit the GP outside office hours or maybe a Saturday. The big problem is that under Blair GP's were given new contracts with a very large pay rise but a reduction in what they are contracted to do. They no longer are required to work outside surgery time, this is left to others. So patients often fly off the A&E. If many other organisations are able to provide services for up to 12 hours/day surely those delivery health care should offer something better and maybe for 6 days. Getting appointments is getting almost impossible so something has to change. Patients who fail to turn up for appointments should b4e fined and then 3 strikes and they are out, that would help. awasteoftime
  • Score: 8

7:51am Sun 18 May 14

Ratters Rat says...

My father's GP has come up with a solution that has worked he has a late night surgery once a week. He has clearly stated that he will only see working patients it has proved popular and he has now made it a permanent. He set the rules himself and his patients are happy no taking time off work and having lots of Hassel. Other doctors should follow his example.
My father's GP has come up with a solution that has worked he has a late night surgery once a week. He has clearly stated that he will only see working patients it has proved popular and he has now made it a permanent. He set the rules himself and his patients are happy no taking time off work and having lots of Hassel. Other doctors should follow his example. Ratters Rat
  • Score: 5

4:25pm Sun 18 May 14

Bantambhoy says...

awasteoftime wrote:
Illness is not like office work when people may work 9.00 to 5.00. It is not possible to predict when you wish to see your GP and if you are of working age you will wish to visit the GP outside office hours or maybe a Saturday. The big problem is that under Blair GP's were given new contracts with a very large pay rise but a reduction in what they are contracted to do. They no longer are required to work outside surgery time, this is left to others. So patients often fly off the A&E.
If many other organisations are able to provide services for up to 12 hours/day surely those delivery health care should offer something better and maybe for 6 days.
Getting appointments is getting almost impossible so something has to change. Patients who fail to turn up for appointments should b4e fined and then 3 strikes and they are out, that would help.
What a fantastic post this is!
Are GPs the only people within the NHS who are not required to work shifts? Most workers outside and within the NHS have to work some sort of shift pattern in this modern age. I wonder how many 'lost' working hours are down to people having to have time off just to visit their GP?
[quote][p][bold]awasteoftime[/bold] wrote: Illness is not like office work when people may work 9.00 to 5.00. It is not possible to predict when you wish to see your GP and if you are of working age you will wish to visit the GP outside office hours or maybe a Saturday. The big problem is that under Blair GP's were given new contracts with a very large pay rise but a reduction in what they are contracted to do. They no longer are required to work outside surgery time, this is left to others. So patients often fly off the A&E. If many other organisations are able to provide services for up to 12 hours/day surely those delivery health care should offer something better and maybe for 6 days. Getting appointments is getting almost impossible so something has to change. Patients who fail to turn up for appointments should b4e fined and then 3 strikes and they are out, that would help.[/p][/quote]What a fantastic post this is! Are GPs the only people within the NHS who are not required to work shifts? Most workers outside and within the NHS have to work some sort of shift pattern in this modern age. I wonder how many 'lost' working hours are down to people having to have time off just to visit their GP? Bantambhoy
  • Score: 3

4:33pm Sun 18 May 14

Bantambhoy says...

My GP practice is fantastic at ringing you back with a telephone consultation so you and your doctor can then make a decision as to the next step but there is still the massive problem of getting ill on a Friday night .and surgeries not being open on a weekend.
My GP practice is fantastic at ringing you back with a telephone consultation so you and your doctor can then make a decision as to the next step but there is still the massive problem of getting ill on a Friday night .and surgeries not being open on a weekend. Bantambhoy
  • Score: 1

5:20pm Sun 18 May 14

cockadoodledo says...

I do believe that surgeries should be open Saturday mornings and later evening appointments!
At our practice we have two doctors, one full time and the lady doctor part time. To have an appointment with the lady doctor , many a time 10 days wait, this is not good enough.Part time doctors should not be permitted unless on a job share condition. otherwise a waste of facilities in the practice. Doctors have had it too easy since Blair. Patients who waste appointments should pay a " fail to turn up charge" this should not be at the expense of other patients!
I do believe that surgeries should be open Saturday mornings and later evening appointments! At our practice we have two doctors, one full time and the lady doctor part time. To have an appointment with the lady doctor , many a time 10 days wait, this is not good enough.Part time doctors should not be permitted unless on a job share condition. otherwise a waste of facilities in the practice. Doctors have had it too easy since Blair. Patients who waste appointments should pay a " fail to turn up charge" this should not be at the expense of other patients! cockadoodledo
  • Score: 1

10:31am Mon 19 May 14

yezboss says...

It would help if you could 'walk in' a 'walk in' centre, but not if you have a GP in the district it seems. Regardless of whether or not you can get an apppointment.. Ludicrous.
It would help if you could 'walk in' a 'walk in' centre, but not if you have a GP in the district it seems. Regardless of whether or not you can get an apppointment.. Ludicrous. yezboss
  • Score: 0

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