The head of Solihull’s main health body said he is confident the borough can deliver if the Government’s pledge to open GP surgeries seven days a week goes ahead.
The Government has announced this week that patients will have access to GP services seven days a week, by 2020.
Dr Patrick Brooke, chief officer of Solihull Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) – the body behind the running of health services in the borough – said he is confident these needs will be met through the borough’s new urgent care centre.
“Compared to other areas, Solihull is well ahead when it comes to offering patients more access to primary care,” Dr Brooke said.
“People in Solihull have been asking for this [more access] for a long time and we have been listening to their needs.
“We believe these needs can be met through our new urgent care centre.”
Plans are now underway for a new urgent care centre to be built on the Solihull Hospital site, which combines the walk in centre, accident and emergency and out-of-hours services.
“We always wanted to make this facility primary care lead, whereas a lot of other areas have gone for a more constrained model,” Dr Brooke added.
“We want patients to have access to emergency care but primary care is also very important.”
Nationally, some health chiefs have criticised the pledge, saying seven-day-a-week opening would put a strain on staffing levels.
“There is a strain on resources at the moment and think there always will be to a certain extent,” Dr Brooke said.
“We are not talking about every practice being open seven days a week, that would not be feasible.
“If we are given the resources to employ more nurses and doctors, that would be fantastic.”