EXTRA locums and extended hours will be deployed to tackle winter health pressures in Bury, NHS chiefs have decided.

Like other authorities across the country, Bury Clinical Commissioning Group has been given a slice of a £250m Winter Access Fund, to spend before next March.

And CCG board members have now been told what, due to tight deadlines on accessing the funding, the £876,385 investment will be be spent on across the borough.

Under the approved bid, the largest proportion, at £258,000, will be invested in locum banks and promoting digital booking.

Another £228,024 has been allocated for expanding the extended hours capacity for borough surgeries. And £208,024 has been given over to funding additional sessions by existing staff. This will be supported by £104,102 for additional admin staff.

An extra £78,301 has been earmarked for work to support the urgent care system.

Rachele Schofield, the CCG’s senior commissioner for primary care, said in a board report: “ In light of the tight timeframe for submissions, the CCG, the GP Federation and the Local Medical Committee worked together to determine that the likely mode of delivery, an evidenced increase in access, was through our existing extended working hours service and practices themselves.”

Board members also heard that a number of other possibilities had been considered and rejected, on this occasion, ranging from employing other doctors in surgeries, to developing primary care hubs and other sundry work to create additional appointments or improve access.

Health chiefs are also helping borough medical practices to bid for funding focusing on improving security issues in general practice.

The total sum available for this work is £5m and a city region wide response is being co-ordinated by the Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership.