A NEW scheme has been launched to improve patient access to GP appointments.

Seven GP practices in the Vale of York area, including Helmsley, Terrington, Pickering and Kirkbymoorside, have been working together and in partnership with Modality Partnership on the project.

Face to face appointments can now be booked with a range of clinicians, including doctors, nurses and clinical support staff, seven-days-per-week. Patients can also book video consultations with a GP.

To reflect the success of the scheme, a celebration event was held at the two hub practices in Easingwold and Pickering where patients can access the extended opening hours.

Dr Sarah Utting, north locality GP and improving access clinical service director, said positive feedback was shared by everyone who joined the event. “We are grateful for the feedback and ideas shared as to how to raise awareness of the new service more widely in the local community so people make the most of the new service,” she said.

“We were really pleased that so many people were able to take time out to come and join us to celebrate the first few months of this new way that patients can access care when they need it.

“It was great that a mix of patients, staff and local community representatives attended and we hope they learnt a lot about what these new ways of working mean and how easy it should now be to get an appointment when you need it.”