Improved Access

Making it easier for patients to receive care.

Improving access to General Practice

The General Practice Forward View published in April 2016 set out plans to enable clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) to commission and fund additional capacity across England to ensure that, by 2020 everyone has improved access to GP services including sufficient routine appointments at evenings and weekends to meet locally determined demand, alongside effective access to out of hours and urgent care services.

Why do we need to improve access?

Public satisfaction with general practice remains high, but in recent years patients have increasingly reported, through the GP Patient Survey, increased difficulty in accessing services including a decline in good overall experience of making an appointment in general practice.

Good access is not just about getting an appointment when patients need it, but also about ensuring access to the right professional whether that be GP, nurse, pharmacist or other professional, providing the right care, in the right place at the right time.

Improved Access at West Kent Primary Care

West Kent Primary Care is the lead provider responsible for the running of the Improving Access (IA) for West Kent. Working in partnership with Primary Care Networks (PCN’s) who provide the week day and Saturday provision, West Kent Primary Care provide cover on Sundays via two GP ran hubs, Rusthall (Tunbridge Wells) and Albion Place (Maidstone).

Working with and supporting our 9 PCNs and GP practice members in their unique approach to provide Improved Access in West Kent, we meet the CCG contract and national requirements for Improving Access by offering more appointments in the evenings, early mornings and at weekends.

When are Improved Access appointments available?

A minimum additional 45 minutes consultation capacity per 1000 population is provided. Pre bookable and same day appointments are available:

  • On Weekdays  – Pre-bookable and same day appointments in evenings (between 18:30 – 20:00) – to provide an additional 1.5 hours a day
  • At Weekends – Pre-bookable and same day appointments on both Saturdays (between 09:00 – 13:00) and Sundays (09:00-12:00) to meet local population needs
  •  Depending on the day, your appointment may not be with your regular GP or nurse however, the professional undertaking your appointment will have access to your health records.
  • An alternative to a face to face appointment may be offered to you including telephone or video consultation.

How to book

Ask your practice receptionist about what evening and weekend appointments are available to you.


We would like to hear from you about your experience of Improved Access as this helps us to continuously improve the service.

Please share your experiences with us.

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