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Out-of-hours shut down due to shortage of GPs

Out of hours services in Glasgow and Clyde have had to shut down services at short notice over the holidays due to a shortage of GPs.

NHS Glasgow has been forced to centralise services, use more nurse practitioners and enhance pay rates in an attempt to cope with the shortage of GPs and keep services open.

NHS Glasgow told Pulse that during the holiday period in particular, it was difficult to ‘fully staff’ its primary care emergency centres,

An NHS Glasgow spokesperson said: ‘Despite the assistance we get from GPs, including the support of many who come in at short notice, we have had to make short notice closures of centres when we do not have GP cover. The GP out-of-hours service remains under pressure to staff all GP rotas.’

In an attempt to relieve the pressure on its out-of-hours services, NHS Glasgow is now using a team of nurse practitioners who can see, treat and discharge patients and also perform a home visits.

The Scottish Government announced plans in April to trial a plan to give nurse practitioners a significantly enhanced role in out-of-hours care, as part of a £10 million investment in urgent GP services.

Nurse practitioners have been given an enhanced role in out-of-hours services across Glasgow and Clyde, as well as Fife, Highland, Lanarkshire and Grampian in a bid to ease the workload for GPs.

Elsewhere in the UK, out of hours services are being centralised in a bid to save cash. Earlier this month a rural out-of-hours service in Devon closed after NHS managers struck a deal for a single provider to deliver 111 and out-of-hours services in the area,

 

 

 

Readers' comments (24)

  • Pay them and they will come.

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  • Show me mortality and morbidity graphs please!

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  • Market forces will prevail-

    hope - the juniors will lead in this and hopefully kick up the ass for MR Hunt.

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  • So the idea is they take lots of clinical staff to create "clinical hubs" in 111 (sounds a lot like the discredited NHS Direct to me) and then wonder why there's nobody left to staff face-to-face?

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  • Demand could be reduced by saying 'no' to ridiculous, inappropriate requests for out-of-hours attention. That was done in the past when the service was run by doctors. Now that it's run by the health board and management obsessed by customer satisfaction, even those few remaining experienced, risk-balancing GPs who try to put the dampers on demand are in trouble with the management if someone complains because they did not get what they want. The regular abusers of the service are now accustomed to being seen without question about any trivial concern. Significantly reversing this expectation is probably now impossible. Increase the remuneration by at least 50% and there might be more GPs willing to work for the service.

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  • @12.33
    You are bang on the money.Shame no one will listen to you.

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  • The public need to be asked what they are willing to pay for their NHS and fund it properly. Every decision is made for short term in year savings that have lasting effects on moral and services. You can't provide a 21st Century service by 20th Century tax funded cash strapped inequitable annual allocation.

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  • so more people go to A+E and the system collapses. Lets hope the winter is a mild one.

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  • Peter Swinyard

    agree with 12.33. I am available for OOH shifts in Glasgow. £1800 per diem plus air fare from Bristol to Glasgow plus mileage to Bristol Airport plus car park charges plus indemnity. Or you can offer proper pay to Scottish GPs who know the local health system and would do a much better job than me...

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  • Free market in action, suck it up its going to be a bumpy ride!

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  • What will happen is that the nurse practitioners will do the job for half the price. Fair play to them. Soon nurse practitioners and pharmaceutical practitioners will take the place of locum and salaried gps who will not buy into the financial and management responsibilities of gp partnership and yet charge twice as much as the NPs and pharmacists

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  • Buy cheap pay twice

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  • Dr Swinyard says he will do the shifts for £1800 per diem. I hereby state that I will undercut him by offering my services for £1799. Freelancing GPs should be exposed to the cold winds of competition.

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  • This comment has been removed by the moderator.

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  • chickens clucking rapidly back to roost...

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  • So, are they in breach of contract and being served a notice for such? Ah, no, North of the border.

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  • another crack appears in the slow but inevitable collapse of the failing English (ex)nhs.
    time for NHSE to be disbanded and taken ove rby eg nhs Scotland--who have more common sense and intelligence in one finge rhtna the entire NHSE..who are delusional out of touch swivel eyes nutjobs in thrall to a practically insane (or very allegedly corrupt)government.

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  • actually I have made a fool of myself last entry as it IS Scotland!
    theory in flames
    good thing anon.
    I will slip off..............

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  • pay peanuts ....get monkeys

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  • Get the NHS Twinned with Football and the public will pay anything

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  • As less docs take shifts
    It becomes more stressful for the remaining
    and is not helped by a time consuming complaints culture

    I'll enjoy my evening / weekend in peace thanks

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  • If the indemnity is paid by NHS like is for consultants this shortage will not happen. Current rates are for OOH work £1500 per one weekly session per year, this ids 4-5 hours session. Most of GP are working for OOH taking home £ after paying the indemnity costs. It is the underfunded NHS like Tatcher's era.

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  • Being one of the poor gp who work for peanuts I see the expectant per hour rate for a plumber or lawyer is twice better than mine especially over weekend call outs. There is little control over walk in. And pt compliant at drop of hat because I need to be bit quick to clear the screaming room outside and don't listen to their long standing trival problems because they couldn't get a gp appointment.

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  • And for the gp expecting that they will get 1500 or 1799 pound for one weekly session with your travel, accomodation and indemity provided for. Please look elsewhere. Will never happen in this life time.

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