Patients will be able to get “out of hours” surgery appointments as part of a new scheme set to be rolled out.

The Mid Essex Clinical Commissioning Group has teamed up with a number of GP surgeries to offer appointments in the evenings, at weekends and on bank holidays.

The national plans, known as Extended Access, will be initially open to some patients in Braintree, Silver End, the Colne Valley and Chelmsford.

Appointments will be available at the Elizabeth Courtauld Surgery in Halstead and North Chelmsford Health Centre in Springfield, Chelmsford.

Patients registered at most practices in the Colne Valley Braintree and Chelmsford and will now have access to the service, which went live on Wednesday. The scheme will be rolled out across mid Essex over the autumn and will be available in Witham and Hatfield Peverel in September.

Due to different IT systems, people registered at Hilton House, in Sible Hedingham, the Castle Surgery, Castle Hedingham, Coggeshall Surgery, Blandford House in Braintree and Brimpton House, Kelvedon, will not be able to book appointments until October 1.

By this point the clinical commissioning group will offer appointments at a further two centres, with one set for Braintree.

Dr Caroline Dollery, chairman of the Mid Essex clinical commissioning group , said: “This is great news for patients who struggle to get to weekday appointments in the daytime can now access professional NHS services more easily.

“In most cases, people going to their GP practice have a condition for which nurse practitioners and allied health professionals can offer the right advice and treatment, and the new service follows this model. It is part of wider plans to build a strong foundation for primary care – our GP practices – and make sure they continue to serve our local population long into the future.”

People wanting one of the appointments must book it through their own practice or online in the same way they would any other appointment.

They must all be booked in advance and patients will be allocated a clinician such as a nurse practitioner, paramedic, GP or other healthcare professional.

The clinical commissioning group said there should be no impact on appointments for patients registered at Elizabeth Courtauld or North Chelmsford Health Centre. Visit