A Westhoughton Health and Care Centre has opened its doors for evening and weekend doctors’ appointments as part of the development of Primary Care access in Bolton.
A new Primary Care service has opened in the council’s Winifred Kettle Centre, on Washacre.
Patients can now book appointments for weekdays between 6.30pm and 9.30pm, and 9am to 1pm at weekends.
Some appointments will be available on the same day, especially for children up to the age of 16 who require treatment after school hours.
Patients registered with any Bolton GP will be able to see a doctor, nurse or health care assistant at the centre.
The service is not a walk-in and patients must make an appointment before attending by contacting their usual practice.
NHS Bolton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) awarded the contract to improve access to evening and weekend primary care services for Bolton patients.
Dr Wirin Bhatiani, chairman of NHS Bolton Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “Improving access for our residents to GP services is an important priority for the CCG.
“These additional services are vital for those residents who are unable to attend their GP surgery during usual working hours.
“This also supports our practices that are struggling with managing demand during the day.”
Dr George Ogden, Bolton GP and Chair of Bolton GP Federation, added: “We are delighted to bring this service to Westhoughton with the help of Bolton Council, bringing welcome additional GPs and nurses to care for local people alongside our existing practices.
“It means that people who work have more choice of when to see a GP. However, more importantly people who work away from home during the week can now access their GP at the weekend.
“We look forward to continuing to work in partnership with the council on this and other exciting developments in health care.”
Winifred Kettle reopened in 2016 following a major transformation to bring together health and social care service under one roof to make it a neighbourhood base.
Leader of Bolton Council, Cllr Linda Thomas, said: “Winifred Kettle has been operating as a thriving hub for a range of health, care and voluntary services and adding the out of hours service will be fantastic for all of our residents, particularly those living in the west of the borough.
“We are delighted to have worked with our partners on this for the benefit of the community. It will give people more flexibility to book appointments at a time that suits them.”