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Scotland bids to improve access to GP services

13 December 2007

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A series of pilot schemes aimed at giving the public greater access to GPs are to be rolled out across Scotland, health secretary Nicola Sturgeon has said.

It will mean patients are able to get medical appointments in shopping centres and other central points, she added.

Ms Sturgeon also called for an extension of GPs’ hours in their current contract, as the Scottish government wants to improve medical service provision.

She said: “That is why by the end of March next year, we will establish five pilot projects in some of our biggest health board areas – Grampian, Greater Glasgow and Clyde, Lanarkshire, Lothian and Tayside – to provide walk-in access to a range of primary care services via community pharmacies.”

Ms Sturgeon admitted that GP services cannot be available “24 hours a day, seven days a week”.

But she added: “Many patients – including those in some hard-to-reach groups – both want and would benefit from being able to see a GP before or after work or at the weekend.

“That is why we will work with professional bodies, NHS boards and individual GP practices to provide a more accessible service which fits in with the lives of patients.”

Scottish Government

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