Objectives To understand how the uptake of an extended primary care service in the evenings and weekend varied by day of week and over time. Secondary objectives were to understand patient demographics of users of the service and how these varied by type of appointment and to core hour users.
Design Observational study.
Setting Primary care extended access appointments data in 13 centres in Greater Manchester, England, during 2016.
Participants Appointments could be booked by 1 261 326 patients registered with a family practitioner in five Clinical Commissioning Group geographic areas.
Main outcome measures Primary outcome measure was whether an appointment was used (booked and attended), secondary outcome measures included whether used appointments were prebooked or booked the same day, and delivered by a family or nurse practitioner. Additional analyses compared patient demographics with patients reporting the use of core hour primary care services.
Results 65.33% of 42 472 appointments were booked and attended (used). Usage of appointments was lowest on a Sunday at 46.73% (18.07 percentage points lower usage than on Mondays (95% CI −32.46 to −3.68)). Prebooked appointments were less likely to be booked among age group 0–9 and to result in patients not attending an appointment. Family practitioner appointments were increasingly less likely to be booked with age in comparison to nurse appointments. Patients attending extended access appointments tended to be younger in comparison to core hour patients.
Conclusions There is spare capacity in the extended access service, particularly on Sundays, suggesting reconfigurations of the service may be needed to improve efficiency of delivering the service. Patient demographics suggest the service is used by a relatively younger population than core hour services. Patient demographics varied with the types of appointment provided, these findings may help healthcare providers improve usage by tailoring appointment provision to local populations.