Thousands of patients should find it easier to make a GP appointment on the same day thanks to a new initiative.
GP practices in south Wigan and Ashton north are working together to guarantee people who need an urgent appointment can be seen that day.
While the practices would struggle to do this alone, they can make the most of GPs, practice nurses and wider resources by working together.
Now the 34,000 patients are being offered extra appointments in the Primary Care Hub at Chandler House, in Worsley Mesnes.
Sharon Chamley, lead practice manager for south Wigan and Ashton north GP cluster, said: “It is fantastic that collectively we are able to offer our local patients in south Wigan and Ashton more access to same-day appointments when they need them.
“I believe this will make a real difference to our patients’ health and well-being by meaning they get the treatment they need when they need it and within their local community and so far we have had lots of positive feedback from patients.
“I am really proud of the work we have done so far to get this up and running, and look forward to developing it further and offering more benefits to patients.”
This is currently only available to patients at practices in Chandler House and the Medicentre in Ashton.
The practice can book the appointment directly for patients and the clinician they see at the hub will have access to their GP record, so they can understand their medical history and medications and offer them the same service they would get within their own surgery.
GP practices hope to improve the patient experience and reduce the number of attendances at A&E and walk-in-centres.
Dr Tim Dalton, a local GP and chairman of NHS Wigan Borough CCG, said: “As my own GP practice is involved in this project, I am obviously very supportive of it.
“However, I am pleased to see our GPs come together to improve the service local patients get and for the first time offer guaranteed appointments.
“At the moment this is just something that practices are trying, but if it continues to be successful, we at the CCG will be looking at whether it should be rolled out in other areas in the borough.”