Frequently asked questions

The Improving Access Service launched in 2014 as part of the EPiC project in Brighton & Hove with 12 practices taking part to increase patient access. The service was a success for patients and practices alike and further funding was received to continue the service following the end of the EPiC program.

Over the last four years, the service has undergone various changes, but always continued to provide out of hours routine appointments from six ‘host’ GP sites to 48% of the city population. At the beginning of 2018, Here was commissioned to deliver 100% city coverage service by 1st October 2018.

Download the Improving Access Services FAQ.


Appointment times are available:
18:30-20:30 Monday to Friday
08:00-14:00 on a Saturday
09:00-13:00 on a Sunday


Six ‘hubs’ in local GP Surgeries provide easier access for the whole city population.  Each hub has a host practice and all other practices book into these clinics. The host practice can rotate every three months.
The membership of these six ‘hubs’ has been designed in consultation with Public Health and looks at topography, bus routes and ease of access for patients.


The service offers routine, pre-bookable appointments with a GP or nurse which enables patients to be seen sooner, often on the same day. The service is expanding to include appointments available with HCA’s, pharmacists and physiotherapists.
Practices are provided with the nurses skillsets so that appropriate appointments are booked. This can include smears, asthma/ COPD reviews, pill checks etc.


The Extended Hours Service team are based at the Here offices and are dedicated to ensuring access for all patients across B&H while supporting practices in ensuring a safe, efficient service.
EHS relies on staff from practices to take on shifts, both clinical and administration to ensure that the service can run.

Any staff member who wants to work within EHS can contact the team for more information or they can sign up directly via the GP Networks website and register with EHS Brighton & Hove.

How many?

Appointments with a GP are 15mins long – the clinician needs to log into the patient’s practice system so this is a longer time to allow for this to occur. During an evening clinic, there are eight appointments per clinician, Saturday clinics offer 18 appointments and a Sunday clinic offers 10 appointments.

Appointments are released for booking one week prior with two appointments held for same day booking only. During the weekend there are a limited number of appointments that are held for use by the NHS 111 booking team.


The IT requirements for using this service are based around SystmOne and all appointment bookings are made through this system into an Extended Hours Service module.
Appointments can be booked directly from a practice SystmOne or via the SystmOne GP Hub module.

If you are an EMIS practice, you will need to contact your IT provider and request that SystmOne is installed for practice use. If you are a SystmOne practice, you are not required to change any IT to use the service, however, if you would like to become a host practice for your hub, you will need to request to have EMIS installed on the PC’s there.


Administrators in EMIS practices will be shown how the SystmOne community module works and will book appointments directly into clinics. Administrators in SystmOne practices will be shown how to ‘remotely book’ into the clinics via the practices own system.

The training also includes information on using the service, how to answer patient queries and general information on the service so that staff are confident in offering these appointments to patients.

A training session can last an hour to an hour and a half.

Anything else?

In addition to any IT requirements (see above), the set-up for a new practice will include:
– Adding a new location to your practice CQC registration
– Adding information about the service to your practice website – Put up signs in waiting rooms/ clinical rooms
– Ensure that all staff are aware of the service and how to direct enquiries
– Signing a data sharing agreement for data protection requirements
– Signing an SLA contract to work with the Extended Hours Service
– Set up ‘task’ groups for clinicians to send referrals to the patient practice

Host sites will need to also:
– Provide access information requirements
– Ensure that they have both EMIS and SystmOne on PC’s
– Clarify the rooms and reception space available for EHS use
– Make arrangements for weekend cleaning of the practice following EHS sessions

Our team are here to help!
07540 745 728