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Extended access DES (Scotland)

A summary of what is involved in the extended access DES for Scotland.

To enable patients, who find it difficult to attend during normal surgery hours, to access surgery sessions outside those times – early morning, evening and at weekends.


  • Until further notice.
  • Wales and England have their own extended access schemes.

£3.01 per registered patient.

What it involves

  • The practice is required to provide a minimum extra 30 minutes of GP/other healthcare professional consultation time per 1,000 registered patients per week.
  • Extended hours sessions are to be provided outside of core contracted hours.
  • They are to be provided on a consistent basis, for example, at the same time each week, if appropriate and reasonably practicable.
  • The practice must publicise its extended hours arrangements to patients.
  • Consultation time must be provided for pre-booked appointments as well as for urgent and routine care.
  • Smaller practices with list sizes of between 1,000 and not more than 3,000 patients will be required to provide 30 extra minutes of consultation time per every 1,000 patients on a pro rata basis, one week in two.
  • Practices with list sizes of 1,000 patients, or less, will be required to provide 30 extra minutes of consultation time one week in four.

Problem areas
Security and safety issues; persuading staff to work extended hours; ensuring DES payments more than covers additional expenses on overheads such as energy and staff costs.

Further details
More information is available in a circular from the Scottish government's Health and Social Care Integration Directorate, which can be downloaded by clicking here.

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