NHS England asked Lincolnshire West CCG to provide extended hours access to GP services, including at evenings and weekends, for all patients by the October 1.
These hours must include ensuring appointments are available during peak times of demand — including bank holidays and across the Easter, Christmas and New Year periods.
But as previously reported, patients in Lincolnshire can wait up to three weeks, if not longer, for a routine GP appointments according to a study published by Healthwatch Lincolnshire.
The Lincoln Walk-In Centre was also closed at the end of February this year.
The current situation
GP practices in the area are required to open between 8.00am and 6.30pm Monday to Friday, although some choose to open longer on one or two weekdays and Saturday mornings.
GP practices currently offering extended hours do so for their own registered patients at their own practice.
Under the new proposals the service would be delivered by a collaboration of GP practices in the area.
This means if a patient needs to attend an extended hours appointment they may have to travel to another local GP practice or a central GP practice hub.
Extended hours appointments would be for pre-bookable non-urgent appointments such as chronic illness, asthma check-ups, flu jabs, blood tests, medication reviews or physiotherapy.
More urgent appointments at evenings, weekends and bank holidays will continue to be access from the GP Out of Hours Services at Lincoln County Hospital via NHS 111 or the Minor Injuries Unit at John Coupland Hospital in Gainsborough.
Have your say
Lincolnshire West CCG has now opened a survey covering 31 practices across Lincoln and Gainsborough.