GP+ now offering more choice for patients

Patients who need a doctors’ appointment after work or at weekends now have access to a wider range of healthcare professionals.

Suffolk GP Federation is expanding its GP+ service in Ipswich to include physiotherapists.

We are also continuing to recruit additional GPs, Nurse Practitioners and Nurse Prescribers across all GP+ locations.

Paul Driscoll, Suffolk GP Federation Medical Director, said: “By introducing additional clinicians and a greater range of skills we can ensure that patients are always seen by the right healthcare professional.

“If patients have hurt their knee or shoulder for example it is often more appropriate for them to see a physio rather than a GP. Similarly, by drawing on the expertise of Nurse Practitioners and Nurse Prescribers it will allow doctors to spend more time with those who need them most.”

Suffolk GP+ launched almost two years ago and has provided more than 37,000 extra appointments after work, at weekends and Bank Holidays across its six locations.

Patients can access the service by contacting their surgery in the normal way. If appropriate they will then be referred and allocated an appointment at a suitable time.

During the week, they can also be referred to Ipswich and Bury St Edmunds when they call NHS 111 out of hours.

“We would also encourage patients to ask their surgery for a GP+ appointment if they feel it would be more convenient,” Dr Driscoll said.

“Since its launch the service has expanded considerably and has helped to alleviate some of the strain currently faced by the NHS in Suffolk – reducing pressure on both general practice and hospital emergency departments by allowing patients to attend an appointment that fits in with their working day.”

Suffolk GP+ runs in Ipswich, Bury St Edmunds, Felixstowe, Stowmarket, Wickham Market and Leiston. Opening hours are:

  • 30pm – 9pm weekdays all locations
  • 9am – 9pm on Saturdays, Sundays and Bank Holidays in Ipswich
  • 9am – 2pm on Saturdays and Bank Holidays in Bury St Edmunds
  • 9am – 1pm on Saturdays and Bank Holidays all other locations.