Highlands & Islands

Lochaber community fights for GP cover

Doctor's consulting room
Image caption A local practice is to opt out of providing out-of-hours cover

A community campaigning for the retention of emergency nursing cover is now also fighting to keep its out-of-hours GP services.

Two doctors working in west Ardnamurchan in Lochaber have said they were opting out of providing the cover.

West Ardnamurchan Community Council want Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon to intervene.

NHS Highland's Mid Highland Community Health Partnership said it was trying to secure future out-of-hours cover.

Acharacle Medical Practice wishes to opt out of providing primary care services outside normal hours.

The out-of-hours service at the moment cover 18:00 to 08:00 Monday to Friday and all day on Saturdays, Sundays and bank holidays.

Mid Highland locality general manager Tracy Ligema said: "We have just been notified of the practice's intention to stop providing out-of-hours services and want to reassure people living in the communities that we will be working with the practice and others in the coming weeks to secure services for the future."

In September, NHS Highland said nurses, retained firefighters and volunteers were to be trained to provide out-of-hours emergency nursing care because the area's district nurse was retiring.

Under the plans, a vehicle would be provided by the Scottish Ambulance Service (SAS).

A paramedic based in the ambulance control room would be on hand to advise the co-responders.

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