Soon it will be even easier for people to make an appointment with a GP, thanks to a new national 'extended access' initiative, which will improve access to primary care services in the Surrey Downs area.

This means, in addition to being able to book GP appointments at your local practice, you will also have access to additional appointments during the evenings and at weekends at a number of locations across the local area. 

The extra appointments will be provided by the three GP federations that bring together GP practices across the local area.

By working together in a new and different way, local GP practices will be improving access to primary care appointments, making it even easier for local people to get the care and advice they need, at a time that's convenient to them.

As these extra appointments are provided from GP surgeries in the area, the GP or clinician will have access to your medical record, with your consent, giving them access to all the information they would need to provide the best possible care.

As one of the early adopters of the extended access programme, GP Health Partners has been offering people living in and around Epsom, Ewell, Ashtead, Leatherhead, Bookham and surrounding areas extra appointments during evenings and at weekends for some time. Anyone registered with one of these practices can contact their surgery or phone GP Health Partners directly on 01372 738 373 to book an appointment.

As part of this new national initiative, extra GP appointments will also be available for people living in the East Elmbridge area from the end of September, delivered by Surrey Medical Network, and for people living in and around Dorking from the beginning of October, where the service will be delivered by the Dorking Healthcare GP federation.

By increasing access to primary care services, it will be even easier for people to get the advice and support they need, at a time that is convenient for them. This additional capacity in primary care will help relieve pressures in other parts of the health and social care system and help ensure more people are seen and treated in the community, closer to home.