Lincolnshire West Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) are inviting people to share their thoughts on extending the opening hours of GP services in Lincoln and other areas of the county.

Photo: Liam O’Dell.

The survey comes after new guidance by NHS England means CCGs must provide “extended hours access” to GPs – which includes evenings and weekends – for all patients by the start of October.

“Extended hours appointments would be for pre-bookable non urgent appointments, for example, chronic illness, asthma checks, flu jabs, blood tests, medicines reviews, or physiotherapy.

“Appointments for urgent matters at evenings, weekends, and bank holidays will continue to be accessed from the GP Out of Hours Services at Lincoln County Hospital via NHS 111 or the Minor Injuries Unit at John Coupland Hospital,” the survey description reads.

At the moment, GPs in Lincolnshire must be open between 8am and 6:30pm from Monday to Friday – with some practices opening for longer on certain weekdays and Saturday mornings.

The news also follows the closure of Lincoln’s Walk-in Centre by the CCG in February, with the group claiming that the number of people using the centre had “dropped dramatically”.

At the time of the plans being announced, over 94% of consultation respondents disagreed with the proposals, and nearly 3,000 Lincoln students signed a petition against the decision.

Lincoln SU President Kudzai Muzangaza said it is “absolutely paramount” that Lincoln students can “contribute to the conversation around healthcare” in the city.

“This survey by the CCG is a great opportunity for the student population to be able to put forward its views about the availability and provisions of GP services, allowing for better accessibility for students in and around Lincoln.

“I would like to encourage as many students as possible to take part and fill in the survey.”

The survey can be completed online via. SurveyMonkey.