Satur­day GP open­ing hailed a huge suc­cess

Pa­tients used ser­vice

Rutherglen Reformer - - News - Dou­glas Dickie

Forty-two pa­tients in Ruther­glen and Cam­bus­lang made use of GP prac­tices that opened on Satur­days through­out Jan­uary.

And NHS La­nark­shire has hailed the ex­er­cise, which was put in place to deal with un­prece­dented num­bers of flu cases, a suc­cess.

The Re­former can re­veal 14 ap­point­ments were in per­son, with the rest phone con­sul­ta­tions.

Four lo­cal prac­tices de­cided to open on at least one Satur­day: The Tier­ney/Can­ning prac­tice at the pri­mary care cen­tre, the Craigal­lian Av­enue Prac­tice, the Ar­doch Med­i­cal Prac­tice and Dr McCann’s prac­tice in Cam­bus­lang.

Across the NHS La­nark­shire re­gion, over 1,300 pa­tients made use of the ser­vice.

Around half of GP prac­tices opened on the Satur­days to deal with the is­sues and NHS La­nark­shire bosses said the ex­er­cise helped to re­duce de­mand on the out-of-hours ser­vice and A&E de­part­ments.

Dr Iain Wal­lace, med­i­cal di­rec­tor for NHS La­nark­shire, said: “The re­sponse from prac­tices in pro­vid­ing the ad­di­tional ac­cess has been ex­tremely pos­i­tive and much needed, judg­ing by the num­ber of pa­tients con­tact­ing their GP. This has helped to ease the pres­sure all round.

“Our con­tin­u­ing aim is to en­sure that our GPs see pa­tients only where a GP can help and I would re­mind every­one of the other op­tions avail­able in­clud­ing health ad­vice from lo­cal phar­ma­cies and NHS in­form. Both can help with self care for ill­ness such as colds, coughs, sore throats and viruses.

“NHS in­form pro­vides ad­vice and in­for­ma­tion on symp­toms and a di­rec­tory of lo­cal ser­vices at www.nhsin­form.scot. You can chat to an ad­viser on­line or you call them on 0800 22 44 88. Pa­tients who feel they ur­gently need to see a doc­tor out with their surgery’s hours should call NHS24 on 111.”

Doc­tor’s or­ders Satur­day open­ing at GP prac­tices pro­vided a much needed ser­vice for pa­tients

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