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Just received from the CCG
More GP appointments for Haringey residents at evenings and weekends
Haringey residents can now access more evening and weekend appointments with a GP, nurse or healthcare assistant, thanks to the opening of primary care ‘hubs’ in the borough.
These ‘hubs’ are located in three practices in Haringey and appointments are available for anyone who is registered with any GP practice in Haringey. Appointments are available between 6:30pm – 8:30pm, Monday to Friday and 8:00am – 8:00pm on weekends and public holidays.
To make an appointment, you can call your own GP practice during normal business hours or call 0330 053 9499 during the above hub opening hours.
Visit the CCG website for more information about the hubs, including the locations.
Well, really? I've just seen an exchange on Facebook asking if long lead times for a GP appointment are the norm. My experience is that, yes, long lead times, 3 or 4 weeks are the norm. Which is fine if you are one of the worried well, but a bit of an issue if you are actually ill with something that needs treating.
So how does this initiative fit in with the normal GP system.
Presumably these hubs are staffed by GPs? GPs who , I guess, shift their hours of working from normal daytime clinics to these out of hours arrangements. So , we have fewer GPs on duty during the day (I'm told there is a shortage of GPs) which must exacerbate the long lead time problem.
Or maybe they are staffed by GPs who anyway do their share of daytime clinics. So, pop along at 7:30 pm on a Bank Holiday Monday to see an utterly exhausted GP, or worse, at 9am on the Tuesday morning, for a potentially dodgy diagnosis.
Or maybe by short term temporary staff flown in from the EU, or provided by agencies. Probably prohibitively expensive, in a time when public funds are limited.
And, anyway, do we want 24/7 routine doctors' appointments. My experience with 24/7 services, like insurance claims, and mobile phone companies, and gas and electricity suppliers, is that in attempting to make contact you either get incessant muzak on the phone, or an operator who has a long list of well prepared excuses. Which is one of the complaints on the Facebook thread.
I don't want my GP to be a 24/7 service. I want her to be relaxed and alert when I see her, during hours she has set aside for being at work. Not overtired, stressed and wishing she was somewhere else in the middle of a Sunday afternoon. It's my health, it's the most important thing I have, so I will make the effort to maintain it, and if that means taking time off work, or some inconvenience to my timetable then so be it.
The Facebook thread also has the comment
Ruth Selig Waiting times are likely to get worse if the new development of 146 flats and 67 apart hotel rooms goes ahead on the Town Hall site. Another say 500 people but no extra doctors or school places or transport to cope. See Crouchend Forum for more info http://www.crouchendforum.org.uk/crouch-end-under.../& go on Haringey planners website: http://planningservices.haringey.gov.uk/ (planning application HGY/2017/2220 to leave your comments with the planners
and of course Ruth doesn't mention umpteen flats proposed where Kwik Fit now is, and the apparently stalled development just the other side of Arthouse, and the Old Hornsey Journal building, and all the infills. And local GPs are closing.
Clearly there is a problem, but I don't think opening hours to compete with Tesco Metro are the answer