'Open practices on public holidays'

Scotland's heath department is being asked to consider encouraging GP surgeries to open on public holidays.

The plans are to help reduce demand on Scotland’s out-of-hours helpline, NHS24.
 
A spokeswoman for NHS24 said it was in talks with the Scottish health department about how to ‘utilise the extended hours contract to provide the most flexibility for patients’ during consecutive public holidays like Christmas and Easter.

The helpline’s annual report revealed that last Easter, NHS24 received 40,000 calls over four days –19 per cent more calls than the previous year.

tom.ireland@haymarket.com

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