Sainsbury's the first supermarket to have a GP surgery

The first doctors' surgery to be run from a supermarket is opening in a Sainsbury store in north Manchester, England.

The supermarket surgery in Blackley near Heaton Park, is part of a six-month £126,000 pilot scheme and involves the store running the extended hours medical centre on two evenings a week, and on Saturdays.

It means National Health Service (NHS) patients unable to secure a GP appointment beyond 1800 GMT can now see a doctor at the Sainsbury's store.

The move by the government is part of a drive to improve access to care.

The surgery is staffed by local doctors in addition to their regular hours, and is held in a pharmacy consulting room at the store, between 1830 GMT and 2130 GMT on Monday and Thursday, as well as 1100 GMT to 1500 GMT on Saturdays.

The Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale Primary Care NHS Trust is exploring the provision of extended-hours medical care for people who find it difficult to attend normal surgery times because of work or family commitments.

Sainsbury's says it is a ground-breaking partnership that supports the government's wider aims to make healthcare more accessible.

The major retailer believes it is well placed to contribute to the objective by offering GPs and their patients a convenient, safe and secure location for the provision of routine care.

Patients can book an appointment through their registered GP practice.

Dr. Mohammed Jiva, whose organisation 'Doctors in Store' runs the surgery, says it is important to find ways to provide a more flexible and convenient service as the needs of patients are changing.

Dr. Jiva says the advantages to having an extended-hours GP surgery in a supermarket are more than just convenience, as the venue is safe, well lit, and there is a pharmacy on the premises.

Dr. Jiva says a number of practices in the local area have already come on board and once demand increases, they will explore the potential to extend the scheme.

Boots the Chemist is also trialling a similar scheme.


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
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