Scotland politics

Out-of-hours care in Scotland to be reviewed

Doctor Image copyright PA
Image caption The review will look into the demand for GP services

A review of access to non-urgent medical care out-of-hours has been announced by the Scottish government.

It will look into the demands for services at night and the weekends, when local surgeries are closed.

It has been 10 years since GPs stopped having to provide care at evenings, weekends and holidays, when the responsibility moved to health boards.

Labour said ministers were trying to "buy time" in an area where they previously failed to take action.

Scottish Health Secretary Shona Robison said: "Our NHS is facing different challenges from a decade ago and we need to ensure all parts of the system work as effectively as possible to support an ageing population and more people with more complex, multiple conditions."

Jenny Marra, Scottish Labour's health spokeswoman, said her party had identified £100m in the government budget which could help provide round-the-week care in hospitals.

"Our hospitals are under severe pressure and need extra capacity now," she added.

The review, which will also look at GP recruitment and retention, is being led by NHS Grampian public health director Sir Lewis Ritchie and will report by the end of the summer.

It was welcomed by the Royal College of General Practitioners.

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