GP surgeries in Peterborough are to open later in the evening after receiving government funding.
Patients will be able to see a GP from 8am to 8pm during the week, as well as at times on weekends, thanks to the success of a £2.6 million scheme called the ‘Prime Minister’s Challenge Fund’.
The changes will start to be implemented within the next couple of months.
Patients may also at a later date be able to have Skype conversations with their doctor.
Around 253,000 patients in the Peterborough, North West Cambridgeshire and East Northamptonshire constituencies will be affected by the new opening hours.
It is expected that three or four GP surgeries in Peterborough will be open late each weekday evening.
Currently, surgeries tend to finish at 6.30pm.
No surgeries will close as a result of the changes and the number of hours they are open for will stay the same.
The submission for the funding came from Borderline and Peterborough Local Commissioning Groups (LCGs) which were supported by the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group.
The submission was made to the government in the middle of January and was led by GPs and patient groups.
In addition to longer opening hours, GP surgeries will work better together in providing online information.
Pharmacies may also be attached to surgeries to ease pressure on GPs.
As part of the scheme, there will also be a presence at Peterborough City Hospital’s Emergency Department during bank holidays to direct people to the most appropriate people to see.
Dr Gary Howsam, Borderline LCG chair, and Mr Michael Bacon, chair of Borderline LCG Patient Forum, said: “We are excited at the opportunity to transform primary care for Borderline and Peterborough LCG patients.
“This will allow us to ensure services are consistent across the patch and are sustainable and more resilient in the face of challenges around workforce and increasing population and demand on services.”