Improving access to primary care

The healthcare provided in the community for initial advice or treatment, is one the most critical areas of the health service for patients. Many factors can determine access to these services, including location, opening times, how easy it is to make an appointment, the overall speed of access and how likely you are to see the practitioner of your choice.

Emphasising access to general practice while developing other services

We will continue to emphasise access to general practice while developing other primary care services. Innovations generated during the pandemic are coming together to improve services and patient experience.

To support this, we will:

  • Use patient experience and GP survey results and work with stakeholders to co-design service access improvements.
  • Revise and expand patient communications to reach people who find services hard to reach.
  • Grow our multi-disciplinary teams to include roles such as social prescribers and care coordinators to support individuals with the ‘wider determinants of health’ and create ever more flexible health and care support.
  • Increase use of GP community pharmacy consultation service to help people access a same-day appointment for minor illnesses or an urgent supply of regular medicine.
  • Use our ‘delegated commissioning’ to incorporate Pharmacy, Optometry & Dentistry into local primary care services to join up care, and increase focus on prevention and early intervention enabling the proper care at the right time and in the right place.

Primary care networks 

Practices have come together to support the stability of general practice and work together to employ additional roles and start to deliver services such as extended access and the Covid-19 vaccinations. Now that primary care networks have matured, we will support them to take up further opportunities together.