East Kilbride MSP Linda Fabiani raised the issue of Out-of-Hours health services in Parliament last week (23 September) asking Health Secretary Shona Robison MSP what discussions have taken place between the Scottish Government and NHS Lanarkshire since NHS Lanarkshire removed the Out of Hours GP cover from East Kilbride on grounds of patient safety.
Linda impressed upon the Cabinet Secretary again the anomaly of EK being the largest population centre in Lanarkshire, yet it was EK which had lost local service.
Answering, Health Secretary Shona Robison MSP gave Linda assurances that discussions with NHS Lanarkshire are on-going as part of the national review of primary care out-of-hours services led by Professor Lewis Ritchie, and will report before the end of the year. She said that she expects NHS Lanarkshire’s long-term plans to be in line with Professor Ritchie’s recommendations.
Commenting, Linda said:
“East Kilbride, with the population size it has, should have an out of hours service. I have raised this issue privately with the Government and in Parliament.
“I am fully behind the Health Secretary’s expectation that NHS Lanarkshire’s plans must reflect the recommendations of the national review.
“Many constituents have contacted me already with their experience of the current interim service. I am interested in hearing more”.
Parliament, 23 September:
NHS Lanarkshire (Out-of-hours General Practitioner Services)
- Linda Fabiani (East Kilbride) (SNP): To ask the Scottish Government what discussion it has had with NHS Lanarkshire since its interim service model for out-of-hours GP services was implemented on 1 July 2015.
The Cabinet Secretary for Health, Wellbeing and Sport (Shona Robison): Discussions with all national health service boards, including NHS Lanarkshire, are on-going as part of the national review of primary care out-of-hours services, which is being led by Professor Lewis Ritchie. The review will report its findings and recommendations in the autumn.
Linda Fabiani: In any discussion and consideration of the matter, will the cabinet secretary recognise that although East Kilbride is the largest population centre in Lanarkshire, it has been without an out-of-hours GP service since NHS Lanarkshire’s interim model was implemented? Does she recognise that that is an anomalous situation that must surely be rectified in any long-term solution?
Shona Robison: I certainly expect NHS Lanarkshire to keep the interim service under review. Once we have Professor Lewis Ritchie’s recommendations, I expect NHS Lanarkshire to look at them and to consider whether the interim service is in line with them. It has said publicly that it will undertake a full review, with public involvement, within six months. That will take account of the recommendations, which will be coming soon. I will, of course, consider NHS Lanarkshire’s longer-term plans in the light of all that.