GLOUCESTERSHIRE’S 83 GP will receive £4 million of national funding to provide local people with better and more flexible access to GP services.

Working closely with NHS Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group, the practices submitted their bid to the Prime Minister’s Challenge Fund in January through their jointly owned GP Provider Company.

Work to implement the developments - which will see increased access to GP care between 8am and 8pm, Monday to Friday, and at weekends - will get underway in April.

GP and chairman of the Gloucestershire GP provider company Dr Jonathan Unwin said: “I am delighted that we have been successful in securing this funding, which will make a real difference to how we provide services.

“The fact that every one of Gloucestershire’s practices is working together on this shows there is a shared commitment to do the best for patients in all localities.”

When up and running later in the year, patients will be able to pre-book these additional appointments by calling their GP surgery.

Each of the county’s seven GP localities will be looking at existing local healthcare facilities to provide these services from.

Deputy clinical chairman at the CCG Dr Andy Seymour said: “This is very positive news for Gloucestershire’s patients, and we were very pleased to support the Gloucestershire Provider Company in putting this bid together.

“Clearly these new developments will take some time to put into place across the board, but there is real enthusiasm and determination to get things right for patients.

“We will need to work closely together to ensure services are sustainable into the future.”