NHS 24 employs extra staff to deal with Christmas practice shutdown

The Scottish Health department has denied media reports that it is forcing GP practices to close for eight days over the festive period.

Photograph: iStockphoto/Lisa Thornberg

A spokesman for the Scottish Health department said practices would be closed anyway and no orders had been given.

Christmas Day and Boxing Day and January 1 and 2 fall on Thursday and Friday this year, meaning two public holidays just before the weekend for two weeks running.

GPC Scotland chair Dr Dean Marshall said the long break would cause problems but there had been no discussions with the Scottish government about increasing provision for patients.

Instead, Scotland’s NHS 24 helpline will be employing extra staff to cope with increasing demand over the period.


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