A landmark scheme to keep Peterborough GP surgeries open for longer is two months late with no start date set.
The £2.6 million Prime Minister’s Challenge Fund was announced in April and will allow patients to see their GP from 8am-8pm in the week.
Around 253,000 patients in the Peterborough, North West Cambridgeshire and East Northamptonshire constituencies will benefit from the new opening hours.
A report in June from the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group said the new service was hoped to be launched in July. Operators now say they will have it running by next year but do not have an exact date .
Dr Gary Howsam, co-chair of the Peterborough Primary Care Transformation Board, said: “We were hoping to have been able to fully launch the service this summer, but we underestimated the time needed for Care Quality Commission registrations and other clinical governance requirements.
“However, having now put most of the arrangements in place and identified which practices will work together within hubs, we are now looking at how each ‘hub’ will best inform their patients of the increased early morning and late evening appointments over the next few months.
“We want to ensure that any increased access or changes to services are safe and ensure high quality for patients.”
Peterborough MP Stewart Jackson said: “I’m disappointed by the delay and I really don’t know why here has been a hold up.
“Patients in Peterborough support this initiative and we desperately need it. It has had a big and positive impact in other parts of the UK.
“I will be speaking to the Department of Health and the Clinical Commissioning Group next week when parliament returns to do what I can to make sure what has been promised actually happens.”