Weekend GP services available in Saffron Walden and Dunmow

Sir Alan Haselhurst has his blood pressure checked by weekend GP, Dr Roddy Rodriguez.

Sir Alan Haselhurst has his blood pressure checked by weekend GP, Dr Roddy Rodriguez. - Credit: Archant

Saffron Walden MP Sir Alan Haselhurst welcomed a new weekend GP service in Uttlesford with a visit to the town’s community hospital on Saturday (January 23).

The pilot NHS service is currently operating from two hubs - at Saffron Walden Community Hospital and The Dunmow Community Clinic on Saturdays from 8am-2pm.

The service will extend to Saturday afternoons and Sundays, should there be demand.

All GP practices in the area are taking bookings for the service which allows patients to see a GP, healthcare assistant or nurse for routine appointments, health checks and treatments.

People with long term health conditions such as asthma and diabetes can also access these appointments.

Appointments are accessed through a patient’s own participating GP surgery for routine, booked appointments only and it is not a ‘walk-in service’.

Since the service was rolled-out across west Essex in October, more than 3,000 patients have been seen, with the majority of people being of working age who may not be able to access appointments during the week.

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Sir Alan Haselhurst said: ‘This is fantastic news for residents in Uttlesford. GP practices are under extreme pressure nationally and the demand for GP appointments is increasing and this service will help relieve demand.

“I am very pleased that this service has been successfully launched with positive feedback from staff and patients. I am thrilled to be seeing the service in action.”

Liz Adams, interim chief executive of Uttlesford Health. said: “Uttlesford Health is incredibly proud to have helped launch this service which will allow people greater access to GP appointments.

“Our GP practices can book these appointments as part of their normal processes, which will provide greater choice to fit in with busy lifestyles. “We welcome showing the service to Sir Alan and look forward to residents benefiting from the additional appointments.”

The service is funded through a grant from the Prime Minister’s Access Fund and is a pilot managed by two local GP companies; Stellar Healthcare and Uttlesford Health. These two companies have been set up by the GP practices in the area.

More information can be found at www.weekendgpservice.net.