A shocking number of GP Out of Hours service closures have taken place in in NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, with the highest experienced in the Vale of Leven hospital. A freedom of information request revealed that between November 2018 to October 2019, there were 154 Out of Hours closures in the Vale out of a total of 597 across the health board area.
This follows earlier Freedom of Information requests made by Jackie Baillie that demonstrates that the problem with staffing the Out of Hours Service at the Vale continues to be a significant problem.
These shocking figures raise questions about Greater Glasgow and Clyde Health Board’s ability to manage this most basic of emergency services.
Local MSP for Dumbarton, the Vale of Leven and Helensburgh, Jackie Baillie said:
“Our NHS staff do fantastic work, under enormous pressure, despite the lack of resources to support them. In total there has been 597 GP out of hours closures across Greater Glasgow and Clyde but the highest has been in the Vale of Leven hospital with 154 in the last year alone. These figures paint a worrying picture and underline the experience of local families trying to access the Out of Hours service.
“I have raised GP Out of Hours closures time and time again in Parliament, including most recently with the Health Secretary. It’s clear that NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde is incapable of organising Out of Hours services. This failure will see more people ending up going to A&E when they could have been seen somewhere else.
“The GP Out of Hours service, is the most basic of emergency services. It is simply unacceptable that this service has been closed so often. It’s time action was taken by the health board to ensure people in Dumbarton, the Vale of Leven and Helensburgh get the GP out of hours services they deserve.”