The Herald

Checkout check-ups as GPs open in-store surgery

- JULIA HORTON

THE first “supermarke­t surgery” in the UK opened yesterday, offering shoppers a chance to bag a GP appointmen­t along with their groceries.

Sainsbury’s launched the medical centre at Heaton Park in Manchester, where the public can book evening, weekend and day appointmen­ts with a doctor.

The six-month pilot project is being run in partnershi­p with the local health authority, which will pay for doctors from local surgeries to man the consultati­on room at the supermarke­t’s pharmacy.

Sainsbury’s and the GPs involved said the initiative would improve public access to healthcare and, if successful, could be extended across the country.

Dr Mohammed Jiva, who is leading the Doctors In Store trial, said: “Patients’ needs are changing and so it’s important that we find ways to provide a more flexible service.

However, the leader of Scotland’s GPs and the nation’s patient group were sceptical. Dr Jean Turner, chief executive of Scotland Patients Associatio­n, said: “I would hope this never comes to Scotland. It’s a quick fix. It appears to be good for patients because they are seen faster, but it’s the thin end of the wedge in terms of continuity of care.”

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