Emma Friddin from Healthwatch Enfield on how changes to out-of-hours GP access will affect residents
As of this month it is no longer possible to use GP surgeries in the borough without having a previously booked appointment.
Evergreen Primary Care Centre in Edmonton Green, Eagle House Surgery in Baker Street and Carlton House Surgery in Ponders End will no longer offer walk-in appointments during weekends and public holidays. Evening and weekend GP services will continue to operate but access to the service will be via appointment only. You can get an appointment during evenings, weekends and public holidays by calling NHS 111.
This change has been implemented in line with other neighbouring boroughs, to ensure that everyone in north London has equal access to out-of-hours GP services. The move also means that usage of out-of-hours appointments will be monitored to ensure that people are using appointments appropriately.
Some people who currently access evening and weekend services would be better served by seeing their own GP – a doctor that knows their medical history. Examples include medication reviews, repeat prescriptions and fitness-to-work certificates.
At Healthwatch Enfield it is our job to represent local people’s views and we are asking Enfield Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) – responsible for delivering primary care services in the borough – about the impact of the withdrawal of walk-in appointments. We want to ensure that Enfield residents are getting the best possible access to out-of-hours health services.
That’s why we are keen to hear what you think about this change. Do you think it is a good or bad idea to close walk-in services? Let us know what you think by getting in touch with us using our contact details, below.
With winter getting closer, remember there are things you can do to protect yourself and those around you. Start keeping an eye out for information about flu jabs and, if you are eligible for a free flu jab, make sure you get yours booked in as soon as possible.