NHS Lanarkshire is to hold a major public consultation focusing on its out of hours GP service.
On Thursday, November 26 board members agreed to launch the consultation in January, following a year-long review of the out of hours service.
Craig Cunningham of NHS Lanarkshire said: “As is the situation in other parts of the country, we are under consistent pressure due to the low numbers of GPs who are available to work sessions in the service.
“Our priority is to provide the people of Lanarkshire with a safe, person-centred and effective out of hours service that best meets their needs.
“It is simply no longer possible to do that without making changes to the existing service model.
“Frequently staff availability is extremely unpredictable and as a result patients often have to wait longer to be seen than they should.”
NHS Lanarkshire clinical director, Andrew Manchip, Clinical Director of the NHS Lanarkshire Out Of Hours Service, said: “Both of these models offer the opportunity to provide a fully safe and sustainable service.
“They would enable patients to be seen sooner and with less disruption to the service than we currently experience.
“Both service models would be person-centred offering a more predictable and highly effective service.
“The locations – which were partly chosen for their accessibility to the majority of Lanarkshire’s population offer large, community-based, fit-for -purpose facilities that have the right equipment and right staff, and are open at the right times.
“A huge amount of planning and thought has gone into developing these service models and we believe they have the potential to make significant improvements.”