AN extra £1.3m has been released to help the NHS in Bolton cope with additional winter pressures.

Government health chiefs have allocated £13.3m to Greater Manchester for winter access funding and a further £10m to increase service capacity.

This has resulted in an allocation for Bolton Clinical Commissioning Group of just over £1.3m.

Much of the funding will be filtered through BARDOC, the community-based GP out of hours service for Bolton, which delivers a range of evening and and weekend work.

An urgent primary care hub can act as an 'overspill' for practices to refer on-the-day demand. And an extended hours scheme can offer more appointments on certain weekdays and weekends. The acute visiting service can also weigh in weekdays, backed by two GPs and admin help.

Four extra hours would be covered by an additional GP for the out of hours service, to meet demand, weekdays and weekends, as well as one more doctor for the urgent treatment centre for a four-month spell.

Dr Stephen Liversedge, a CCG clinical director, said: “This is welcome funding for primary care which we hope will have an impact on the wider health and care system, and provide a better experience for patients as we move through the winter months.

"The pandemic has created unprecedented demand on all health and care services and it is clear from talking to our GP practices that the measures will help to increase their capacity to meet this extra demand and improve access to services.

He said the funds will also be used to provide additional telephone lines into GP practices and enable enhancements to the community pharmacy referral scheme, where appropriate.

"We have recently been working with both primary care and urgent care on a campaign (online at to encourage people to ‘Think Twice’ before choosing which NHS service to contact," added Dr Liversedge.