GP practices will again open on Saturdays this winter.
Doctors launched the service for the first time last year in response to a crisis at A&E.
Now with the pressure building again GPs in Huddersfield and Calderdale are opening some surgeries from this Saturday in a bid to keep people out of hospitals.
In Huddersfield, appointments will be available from 12.30pm to 3.30pm at ten practices via the NHS 111 hotline.
The practices have agreed to cover ALL registered patients, not just local patients.
The identity of the so-called ‘Hub Practices’ are not being revealed but health chiefs have confirmed they are spread out across Huddersfield, the Holme and Colne Valleys and the Denby Dale area.
Five practices are operating as hubs in Calderdale.
Patients will be advised on the address of their appointment when they make their booking through NHS 111.
Chair of NHS Greater Huddersfield CCG, Dr Steve Ollerton GP, said: “We know that winter is a busy period when the demand for urgent care services increases, and the Saturday scheme will support this increased demand.
“The main advantage of the service is that with patient consent, the GP or clinician they see will have access to their medical history so will be instantly able to see what medication they are taking and what existing conditions they may have.
“It will also mean the vast majority of patients will be able to access a local GP close to their home on a Saturday afternoon.”
A different system in North Kirklees has been running since October, offering appointments on Saturday and Sunday mornings.
It is accessed via a telephone hotline by calling 01924 351499 between 8am and 11am each weekend.
The service, provided by Curo Health - a local federation of GP practices – will assess the patient’s condition by phone and, if appropriate, offer them an appointment at one of five health centres across North Kirklees.
Patients requiring urgent medical attention or advice are also advised to ring NHS 111, the 24hr helpline.
You can call 111 when you need medical help fast but it’s not a 999 emergency.