NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde launches engagement on GP Out of Hours
NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde is seeking views on its delivery of GP Out of Hours, to inform the development of the service.
With extensive patient involvement, NHSGGC (NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde) has moved to a more stable appointment-based model of delivering GP Out of Hours, since 2020. This change has resulted in a reduction of waiting times, fewer unplanned closures of sites and a high degree of satisfaction from those accessing the service.
Recent engagement figures show that 93% of those who have accessed the service said it met their needs, up from 83% in 2021. As NHSGGC seeks to create a long-term, robust and sustainable out of hours model which meets the needs of patients now, and in the future, NHSGGC is now seeking feedback from patients and the public on the future model for the service.
In agreement with Healthcare Improvement Scotland, a period of engagement with patients and the public is launched today (9 October 2023), with anyone who has had a recent experience of accessing the GP Out of Hours service and members of the public are invited to fill out the online survey, available here: www.nhsggc.scot/gpooh/engagement
Allen Stevenson, Interim Director Primary Care and GP Out of Hours for NHSGGC, said: “GP Out of Hours has undergone significant changes since the start of the pandemic since it was put into business continuity in 2020. With all patients being channelled through NHS24 as a first point of contact, we can ensure that people are directed to the most appropriate type of care within the right environment, at the right time.
“We have heard so many positive stories from those accessing GP Out of Hours and we want to continue to engage to ensure patient voices and experiences are heard as we look to make this a permanent approach to delivering the right care in the right place.”
In addition to having access to scheduled appointment, where clinically appropriate, patients may also be offered telephone and virtual video consultations with GPs, thereby giving them more access healthcare, without necessarily having to travel to an out of hours urgent primary care centre.
Other changes include consolidation and focusing of resources at three sites based at Stobhill Ambulatory Care Hospital, New Victoria Ambulatory Hospital and Royal Alexandra Hospital, resulting in fewer unplanned closures of sites, with patient transport offered to those where required. The Primary Care Emergency Centre in Inverclyde has now been co-located with the Emergency Department at Inverclyde Royal Hospital, providing partial weekend and public holiday service.
Dr Thomas Gilhooly, Associate Clinical Director, said: “The changes made to the GP Out of Hours have been positive for patients who require GP care when their local practice is closed and for the service itself, resulting in fewer unexpected closures of our GP Out of Hours centres.
“We now want to involve patients and the public in our proposals to make this change permanent and I’d encourage members of the public and patients to get involved.
“The way we access care is changing, to maximise resources and technology while delivering high-quality person-centred care. This new and more stable approach underpins a much wider exercise to ensure the whole of Greater Glasgow and Clyde has access to a safe, reliable, and sustainable GP out-of-hours service.”
The period of engagement will last from Monday 9 October 2023 until Monday 11 December 2023. In addition to the online survey, NHSGGC will also be hosting a series of public events to hear people’s views, details of which are here (link).
The outcome from the engagement activity will be shared with the NHS Board to support final decision making about the future service model for GPOOHs.