Up to £2.65m is to be made available to allow Scottish GP practices to extend their surgery opening hours with nursing support, the public health minister has announced.
Since April, GP practices in Scotland have been able to apply for extra funding to extend their opening hours to weekday evenings, early mornings or Saturday mornings.
The additional investment is designed to enhance the service by funding nursing care during the extended hours.
Shona Robison, Minister for Public Health, said: “Patients have told us that they need more flexibility in accessing GP appointments and we are working with GPs to deliver that.
“We know GPs don’t work in isolation and nurses are a critical part of the care that practices provide. This extra £2.65m funding will further enhance this by investing in vital nursing support during those hours.”
Ms Robison made her announcement at the 2008 NHS Scotland Event in Glasgow’s SECC.
The Minister also announced an expansion of the services provided by Scotland’s community pharmacies.
She said: “Working with community pharmacists, we are introducing a smoking cessation service and a sexual health service offering free chlamydia testing and treatment and free emergency contraception.
“Both of these will make an important contribution to improving the health of Scots. By making them part of the national Community Pharmacy Contract we ensure Scots around the country can benefit from an equally high standard of care.”
Ms Robison added: “Improving access to GP and pharmacy services in our communities is crucial to our vision of a more patient-centred NHS.”
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“How is it that in Scotland it is known that GP’s don’t work in isolation, but in England political ignorance prevails? Where is our (England’s) additional funding?” – Andrew Clark, Derbyshire