Skip to content


Seven day access to primary care in Greater Manchester: Evaluation

What did we do?

In June 2014, the twelve Greater Manchester clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) agreed to the Healthier Together standard that by the end of 2015 “everyone in Greater Manchester who needs medical help will have same-day access to primary care services, supported by diagnostic tests, seven days week.” This was a key early implementation priority of the Greater Manchester health and social care devolution programme.


Building on our previous evaluation of the primary care demonstrator communities, we conducted an independent academic evaluation of the roll out of 7 day access to primary care across Greater Manchester.

Why was it important?

Following evaluation of the primary care demonstrator communities it is important that any further roll-out of 7 day access to primary care, particularly that undertaken at scale and pace such as that being observed in Greater Manchester, is accompanied by a robust evaluation to explore and promote an understanding of the associated processes, activities, outcomes and impacts. Findings will also help to inform ongoing refinement of specifications for services delivering extended access.

How did we do it?

The evaluation has employed both qualitative and quantitative methods. Semi-structured interviews were used to explore the processes by which implementation takes place, while existing and purposely-developed quantitative datasets were used to explore the nature and levels of activity associated with the provision of 7 day access, and its impact on the use of secondary care and out-of-hours services.


Results and impact of the work

This evalutiuon has contributed both locally, informing the initial piloting and subsequent roll-out of seven day access to the 4 million residents of GM, and also nationally as an academic partner on an evaluation of NHS England’s £100 million GP Access Fund programme. These activities have collectively ensured that decision making by commissioners about service models of 7 day access across the country, and the process by which such models are implemented and sustained, can be informed by a high-quality and reliable evidence base.


We worked in collaboration with NHS England Greater Manchester (and now the GM H&SCP) and CCGs to ensure the evaluation was helpful to them in terms of informing their decisions and identifying other important issues impacting access to primary care. Professor Dame Sally Davies described this demonstrator community evaluation as “a strong example of how CLAHRC can impact on high priority areas and ensure that planning decisions are evidence-based”.


Nationally, we have provided expert academic input into the wider GP Access Fund Evaluation, which is due to report shortly.


Full findings are now available; the full report and executive summary can be downloaded below:


Who did we work with?

Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership


Downloadable resources



More information

For more information please contact Susan Howard (Programme Manager) or Professor Damian Hodgson (Academic Lead)