Borders meeting to discuss GP out-of-hours service review

An out-of-hours GP service used to operate from The Knoll, Duns.
An out-of-hours GP service used to operate from The Knoll, Duns.

Anyone who has concerns about current primary care out-of-hours services and the future of the service is invited along to a discussion session at Galashiels.

Due to growing pressures on the primary care (GP) out-of-hours services across Scotland, the Scottish Government announced a review of the service across the country and as part of that review, the Scottish Health Council has been asked to hold discussion sessions in each of the board areas across Scotland.

Scottish Health Council Borders has organised a meeting in Old Gala House, Galashiels on Tuesday, July 7, at 10.30am, and is keen to hear from members of the public.

Primary care out-of-hours has been much discussed already in Berwickshire since staff shortages meant NHS Borders was forced to change how it operated its GP out-of-hours service in January 2014, centralising GPs and nursing out-of-hours staff at Borders General Hospital rather than at community hospitals such as The Knoll at Duns.

This led to an outcry, particularly in the more remote areas of Berwickshire and particularly eastern Berwickshire, the main concern being the distances from Borders General Hospital.

NHS Borders indicated that what had started out as a response to an emergency staffing situation had worked well and they were looking at making the new centralised service a permanent solution. However, before the board finalised that decision the Scottish Government announced in January this year that it was to review primary care (GP) out-of-hours services across Scotland, due to growing pressures.

If you are interested in attending the Borders discussion session you will need to book a space as places are limited. Telephone 01896 824570, or email shelagh.martin@scottishhealthcouncil.org.