Ever wanted to see your GP, but couldn’t get an appointment because of work, or school, or just because weekdays 9-5 are generally pretty busy? Us too! That’s why we’re pretty jazzed to now be offering more out of hours appointments for primary care across Dorset. What does that mean? Basically, if you’re after an appointment, but can’t make your surgery’s opening hours, it’s no big deal. You can now make an out of hours appointment through your GP, or by calling NHS 111. If you need to see someone, they’ll be able to hook you up with an appointment at a time and place that works for you, with a GP, nurse, or other health professional who’s right for your needs.

Sound good? Yeah, we think so too. That’s why we wanted to find someone who’d used the service and could tell us just how good it is. Not to blow our own trumpet or anything. But. Toot toot.

We spoke to Maryann, 23, about her recent need for an out of hours appointment:

“I’ve got a young child, and I work full time, which makes it harder to see a GP during their usual opening times. I’d seen some StayWell advertising, and was in need of a GP appointment, so I phoned my practice and asked if I could see someone non-urgently, and hopefully out of working and nursery hours. They told me they didn’t offer the service within the surgery, but that one of their GPs had clinic hours at my local urgent treatment centre on selected weekdays. I was offered an appointment three days later at half six in the evening, which was perfect for me. It was much easier to make the short trip to my UTC to see someone than having to take time out of work and withdraw my child from nursery.

“When I got to the UTC, I gave my usual details at reception, got booked in, and then when half six rolled around I was called in to see the GP – simple as that. It was exactly like seeing a GP at my usual practice; we spoke about my condition, and then I was given the necessary prescription which I could pick up from my local pharmacy.

“Everything ran smoothly, and it was the usual service I’d expect from my practice. For me, being able to see someone out of hours is a bit of a game changer. It means I can get the medical treatment I need at a time that works for me!”

Find out more about the out of hours services near you over at the NHS Dorset CCG website.