Saturday GP opening hailed a huge success
Patients used service
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