GPs IN North Yorkshire have been given more than £2.4 million to improve access to care for more than 142,000 patients in their areas.

A total of 22 practices from Hambleton, Richmondshire and Whitby will be part of a Together as One Community trial, which will see opening hours extended to cover from 8am to 8pm, seven days a week and a new focus on preventative care and planning.

The patients, spread across 1,400 square miles, will benefit from community-based teams bringing together GPs, the community hospital, community pharmacists and nurses, with IT support.

Patients in rural areas will have less need to travel long distances for health care, with video technology enabling specialist clinicians to offer virtual appointments at the patient’s own GP surgery.

The money for the one-year pilot scheme comes from the £50 million Prime Minister’s Challenge Fund.