THE Wakefield Express editorial on June 1 questioned the ability of the district’s GP surgeries to see non-urgent patients who might otherwise be seen in hospital emergency departments.
Because patients have told us that access to their GP is an important concern, over the past year or two we have made substantial investment in longer surgery opening hours. The norm is now 8am to 6.30pm, with many surgeries open earlier, later and on Saturday mornings too.
And through a project we have just launched with our GPs we have committed even more resources - to make more same day and bookable appointments available. Telephone consultations will also be available at some practices.
By making it even easier to get an appointment and by encouraging patients to see their GP as first point of call, we will help to free up hospital A&E departments for the seriously ill patients who need emergency care. More importantly, though, we will be making sure that patients see the most appropriately qualified medical professional for their needs, without having to make a trip to hospital.
Dr Phil Earnshaw