TRAFFORD GP’s are pooling their resources to create 16,000 extra appointments.

Patients can now see their GPs seven days a week after the borough’s practices decided to collaborate their resources to improve health services across the region.

Trafford Primary Health – the federation of local GP surgeries which successfully implemented the extended hours initiative in 2016 – reports that more than 16,000 extra appointments are now available to Trafford patients.

Sharing staff and skills has enabled Trafford GPs, nurses and healthcare providers to offer clinics from 8am to 8pm during weekdays, and 9am to 1pm on Saturday and Sunday.

Dr Marik Sangha, director of Trafford Primary Health and a GP at St Johns Medical Centre in Altrincham, said the collaboration will improve health across Trafford.

He said: “We appreciate that everyone has busy family and work lives and booking a convenient GP appointment can often be tricky.

“Offering a seven day service is already benefitting patients and ultimately improving the health of Trafford’s population.”

Results have shown improved cervical screening rates through the opportunity of weekend appointments, plus a reduction in waiting times, especially during the winter pressure period, due to increased appointments.

Dr Sangha added: “Rather than individual GP practices struggling to meet the increasing health demands of their local populations, a ‘pool’ of Trafford’s GPs, nurses and healthcare providers working together are able to support patients in the evenings and at weekends.”

Patients will be directed to their closest ‘neighbourhood hub’ in Trafford - St Johns Medical Centre in Altrincham, Firsway Health Centre in Sale, North Trafford Group Practice in Stretford or Flixton Road Medical Centre, Urmston – manned by healthcare staff from across Trafford’s GP practices.

Dr Paul Jackson, a director of Trafford Primary Health and a GP at Boundary House Medical Centre in Sale, said the body intends to ‘increase the local staff pool’ further.

He said: “It’s great news for patients and Trafford Primary Health are committed to increasing the ‘local staff pool’ to ensure Trafford residents continue to have extended access to Trafford GPs and nurses in the future.”