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Out of Hours and Improved access appointments

Out of Hours

What is the Gloucestershire Out of Hours Service?

The Gloucestershire Out of Hours Service run by Care UK provides urgent medical advice and treatment to residents and visitors in Gloucestershire when the GP surgeries are closed.

The Out of Hours Service forms part of a range of urgent care services across Gloucestershire and operates alongside services such as NHS 111 and Minor Illness and Injuries Units.

How do I access the Gloucestershire Out of Hours Service?

Residents of Gloucestershire  access the service by dialing 111. Calls are triaged by experienced call handlers using a national system that has been developed by senior medical consultants. Where appropriate, patients are transferred from NHS 111 to the Out of Hours Service.

The person receiving your call will make sure that you get the right help quickly:

  • The call handler will ask for your name and a description of the healthcare problem that you have.
  • If necessary, a clinician will phone you back to discuss the problem.
  • You may be given advice over the telephone.
  • If there is a clinical need for you to be seen and you are well enough to travel then you may be given an appointment time to attend a local Primary Care Centre.
  • If you are too unwell to travel or unable to leave your home, then a healthcare professional may be asked to visit your home. This may be a GP, a Specialist Paramedic or an advanced nurse practitioner.

If the call handler decides that your call is an emergency, then you will be transferred immediately to 999.

Please do not use this service for prescriptions, test results or routine enquiries – the service should only be called for urgent out of hours medical matters only.

When is the Gloucestershire Out of Hours Service Available?

The Gloucestershire Out of Hours Service is available when GP surgeries are closed. The Service operates:

  • Monday to Friday – from 6.30pm to 8am
  • Saturday, Sunday and Bank Holidays – available 24-hours.

When are the Primary Care Centres (PCC) Open?

Primary Care Centres (PCC) provide a place for a clinician to see a patient for an urgent consultation by appointment only during the out of hours period.

Please note that Primary Care Centres are separate from Minor Illness and Injuries Units (MIIU). MIIUs across Gloucestershire  continue to provide a walk-in service for people living in and visiting Gloucestershire. MIIUs (excluding the MIIUs at Tetbury Hospital and Winchcombe Medical Centre) are provided by Gloucestershire Care Services NHS Trust.

Access to the Primary Care Centres is by appointment only. The PCCs do not operate a walk-in service. The services are located across the county:

  • Cheltenham PCC – based at Cheltenham General Hospital
  • Cirencester PCC – based at Cirencester Hospital
  • Dilke PCC – based at Dilke Memorial Hospital, Cinderford
  • Gloucester PCC – based at Gloucestershire Royal Hospital, Gloucester
  • North Cotswolds PCC – based at North Cotswolds Hospital, Moreton-in-Marsh
  • Stroud PCC – based at Stroud General Hospital

Care UK continues to work closely with healthcare partners to ensure that the service continues to support access to timely and appropriate care in the right setting.


Improved access appointments

Gloucestershire’s 74 GP practices are working together in 14 Primary Care Networks (PCNs) to make over 100,000 additional GP surgery appointments available this year in the daytime, evening and weekends through improved access initiatives.

The extra appointments are mainly provided by GPs and nurses, and in some networks by paramedics, mental health practitioners and physiotherapists, offering a greater range of skills and services and freeing up GP time to spend with patients who have complex needs. There are also more than 40 clinical pharmacists working in practices offering expert advice on medications. This means that more patients are being treated close to home with fewer people needing to be referred to hospital.

More appointments are available from Monday to Friday 6.30pm to 8pm and Saturday mornings, plus Saturday afternoon and Sunday, provided by the GP Provider Company for Gloucestershire.

The  Equality Impact Assessment is here.