Why extended hours were no solution for us

Extended hours were a disaster for Dr Kevin McConville's practice in Buckhaven, Fife.

His practice, with four-and-a-half full-time-equivalent partners and a salaried GP, tried staggered surgeries but abandoned them.

'Seeing patients outside normal hospital hours caused problems with accessing appropriate advice from hospital staff, getting lab results and so on,' Dr McConville said.

Staggered surgeries also meant GPs had less time to discuss patients with colleagues.

'This time becomes lost if some partners are working when others are off duty,' he added.

Dr McConville's practice has worked with the Scottish Primary Care Collaborative to improve access by other methods, including targeting diabetes and training staff members.

Dr McConville added: 'Increased opening hours in the evenings or at weekends will stay a moot point.'

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