GP services available ‘8 til L8’ once more

People living in Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre will soon be able to get GP practice appointments ‘8 til L8’ once again.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, appointments with GPs, nurses and other healthcare professionals were available in the evenings and weekends at clinics across the Fylde Coast – aimed at making services accessible to people who struggle to get to their doctors surgery during the normal working day.

But having been suspended during the pandemic, NHS Blackpool and NHS Fylde and Wyre Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) have worked with service providers Bloomfield Medical and Fylde Coast Medical Services to relaunch the service from Saturday (5 September 2020).

To raise awareness of these services, the local NHS will bring back the ‘8 til L8’ campaign, which will be visible in a variety of public locations and on social media and websites.

Dr Neil Hartley-Smith, a Blackpool GP and clinical director for the CCGs, said: “One of the many difficult decisions we had to make in the early days of the pandemic was to suspend the evening and weekend appointments service.

“Following the launch of our 8 til L8 campaign we had started to see a rise in the number of appointments being booked and this was really encouraging.

“So we are delighted to be in a position to bring back these services to offer more flexibility for local people when booking their appointments with GP practices.

“This service is there for people who struggle to attend routine appointments at their GP practice during the day. But it’s not just for people to see a GP, there is a whole host of appointments available such as smear tests, blood tests, diabetes checks and more.”

Evening and weekend appointments are available after 6.30pm during the week and from 8am to 8pm at weekends at clinics in Blackpool, Fleetwood, Freckleton, Garstang and Preesall. Full details including opening times are available at https://www.fyldecoastccgs.nhs.uk/local-services/evening-and-weekend-appointments/

To book an appointment in the evening or at a weekend, contact your GP practice in the usual way. If your GP practice is closed, you can call 01253 952950 when the service is open.