Health centres to offer appointments on evenings and weekends

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People struggling to see their GP during the day can now make appointments at one of three health centres.

Evening and weekend slots up to 8pm will be made available at the Whitegate Drive Health Centre in Blackpool, Fleetwood Health and Wellbeing Centre, and Freckleton Health Centre.

Dr Amanda Doyle, chief clinical officer at Blackpool Clinical Commissioning Group, which organises and pays for residents’ health care, said: “Weekend and evening appointments will provide extra flexibility for people living across the Fylde coast.

“With the winter not too far away, these extra appointments will also hopefully help to relieve some of the pressure on other services.”

Patients need to be registered with a local doctor, and should book a slot by calling their practice’s usual number. They will be seen by a ‘GP, nurse or other healthcare professional.’

Health bosses said the new appointments – from 6.30pm to 8pm from Monday to Friday and from 8am to 8pm on Saturdays and Sundays – will help those struggling to get to appointments because of work, childcare issues, or those who rely on carers for transport.

It comes after independent group Healthwatch found Fylde coast patients were struggling to get appointments and often ended up visiting the Walk-In Centre at Whitegate Drive Health Centre. It said 43 per cent of patients surveyed at four Blackpool surgeries said it was ‘difficult’ to get a same-day appointment.