• Cheshire and Merseyside has highest number of patients with no access to extended hour GP appointments
  • New NHS England data reveals CCGs furthest away from hitting October deadline for extending GP opening hours
  • NHS England claims its own unpublished data shows a better performance with 52 per cent coverage

More than five million patients have no access to extended GP opening hours with new NHS England data showing those CCGs which are furthest away from meeting national deadline.

The Cheshire and Merseyside region has the highest proportion of patients with “no provision” for extended GP hours, according to data published by NHS England.

Within the region, South Sefton Clinical Commissioning Group and Liverpool CCG have the highest proportion of patients in England for whom there is no provision of extended access. Both told HSJ they are undertaking a procurement exercise to find a provider to deliver more hours from October this year.

Overall, London has the highest proportion, of any region, for patients with access to full extended GP appointments.

The best performing individual CCGs are Rushcliffe CCG in Nottinghamshire and Herefordshire CCG, which both have 100 per cent coverage for full extended GP hours.

NHS England has issued a deadline to all CCGs requiring them to have full extended GP access for 100 per cent of their population by October this year. The target was originally set for April 2019 but was brought forward by five months.

Several of the worst performing CCGs have told HSJ it will be a “challenge” to meet NHS England’s new target date but are still working to meet it.

CCGs with the highest proportion of patients with no extended access

CCG Percentage of patients with no provision

South Sefton CCG

63.3

Liverpool CCG

50.6

West Leicestershire CCG

50.5

Guildford and Waverley CCG

47.9

East Riding of Yorkshire CCG

42.9

Mid Essex CCG

42.7

Swale CCG

42.2

Lincolnshire East CCG

39.5

Stoke on Trent CCG

38.2

The data from NHS England records the number of patients in each CCG who have “full”, “partial” or “no provision” of extended access. Those with “full” provision have access to pre-bookable appointments on weekends and weekdays between 8am and 8pm, through either their own practice or group of practices.

Those with “no provision” have no access to GP appointments outside of core contract hours.

Only those GP practices or groups of practices, which voluntarily signed up to NHS England’s direct enhanced service funding are included in the data analysed by HSJ. It does not include any other extended access services that may have been commissioned. 

NHS England said it had two sets of data for extended GP access. One is called the GP forward view monitoring survey and is collected directly from CCGs while the extended access bi-annual survey data is collected from individual GP practices. However, the national commissioner has not published the GPFV monitoring data and has declined to share it with HSJ.

It claims the data shows 52 per cent of the country has access to full extended hours compared with the data analysed by HSJ which shows 39.7 per cent of the country is covered by full extended access.

A spokeswoman for NHS England said: “The NHS is investing at least £258m this year to offer improved access to general practice, including evening and weekend appointments. This is ahead of schedule with appointments available to more than half the country now, and they will be available across the whole country by October this year.”

Map of showing percentage of patients with no provision in each CCG area: 

 

  • Green - less than 10 per cent
  • Yellow - less than 20 per cent 
  • Orange - less than 30 per cent 
  • Red - more than 30 per cent