Fears for the future of GP out of hours service

Drumchapel Hospital
Drumchapel Hospital

There are fears for the future of the out-of-hours GP service which caters for the people of Milngavie 
and Bearsden.

The service, based at Drumchapel Hospital is under threat after plans to close a number of wards there..

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (NHSGGC) wants to transfer all older people’s rehabilitation services for the west of Glasgow – a total of 56 beds – to Gartnavel Hospital.

It is believed the out of hours GP service is also under threat of being moved.

Staff at the hospital have received letters telling them a 90-day consultation is underway to consider the closure of wards which offer care to 
elderly patients.

Board papers say the planned changes could have implications for the out of hours service.

The move comes after the closure in June of the Islay ward at the hospital, which also provided care to pensioners.

Drumchapel Councillor Malcolm Balfour criticised the public consultation and said he has not found anyone except staff at the hospital who has received any 
letters asking them their views.

He said: “We don’t know yet whether the out of hours service is to go or not, there is no clarity - and that’s something people are worried about and really need to know as soon as possible.”

Gordon Cox of Bearsden North Community Council said he shared Councillor Balfour’s concerns.

He added: “This is a concern for the people of Milngavie and Bearsden unless 
there is to be an adequate 

“The proposals appear to be somewhat confusing and clarity is needed.”

Bearsden South Vaughn Moody said: “It would 
be good to know what the health board plan to replace it with. It will certainly be 
a loss.”

The health board has said the out of hours service would be considered separately to the elderly people’s services.

People are being encouraged to attend a public meeting on Monday, November 9 at 6.30pm in Drumchapel High School about the issue.

It is believed the older
 people’s mental health service will stay at the site.

If the proposals go ahead, the health board could save £1.4million.

As the Herald went to press, a spokesperson for NHSGGC said: “The future of the out of hours service will be subject to discussion and engagement as we shape the future of the main part of the hospital.”

He added that the Gartnavel site is planned to have the minor injuries services and out of hours service which were provided at the Western Infirmary by the end of the year.

Health Secretary Shona Robison said: “I have already made clear that any future service changes in any NHS boards, including NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde, must be in line with the recommendations arising out of the National Review of Primary Care Out-of-Hours Services being conducted by Prof Sir Lewis Ritchie, which will report its finding later in the autumn.

“Any proposals to make significant changes to local services must be taken after a full consultation with the local population and relevant stakeholders, in line with national guidance.”