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PRIMARY CARE SERVICES GEAR UP FOR THE FESTIVE SEASON

December 16, 2005 11:19 AM

A new campaign is being rolled out across Greater Glasgow to remind patients to stock up on medicines before the start of the festive season.

Posters have been sent to GP practices and pharmacies to remind patients that GP practices will be closed for 8 days over Christmas and New Year. The posters urge patients to make sure they have enough medicines to last during this period and to collect any repeat prescriptions in advance.

A new booklet has also been produced with details of local health and social work services available over the Christmas and New Year period. This booklet has been widely distributed across Greater Glasgow to ensure patients and carers are aware of the services available in their local communities. These include pharmacy opening times and details of family planning, mental health and drug crisis services available during the holiday period.

NHS Greater Glasgow has also been working closely with local GPs to ensure there is holiday and out-of-hours cover to meet the needs of patients who require treatment when their GP practice is closed over the Christmas and New Year holiday period.

Dr Norrie Gaw, Clinical Director of NHS GEMS, said: "We've had an excellent response from local GPs which means our out-of-hours rota for the festive period is now completely filled.

"This means that we don't have to rely on cover from out-with the health board area which we would have had to consider if we were not able to fill the rota solely by working with local GPs."

More than four hundred local GPs will cover around 1000 shifts during Christmas and New Year. Additional GPs have also offered to be on call during the holiday period to provide support to colleagues, if required.

NHS Greater Glasgow is working hand-in-hand with NHS 24 to ensure GP resources are targeted towards the areas they are needed most.

Although NHS GEMS does not require additional external support, staff have taken the opportunity to invite two German GPs over to Glasgow to gain experience of working in the out-of-hours service during the festive period.

This is part of an ongoing initiative to explore the possibility of developing a partnership with a number of German GPs who would be available, if required in the future, to provide additional cover during public holiday weekends and traditional holiday periods such as the Glasgow Fair fortnight, when many people, including local GPs, take their summer holidays.

ENDS

Notes for Editors

For more information contact the Press Office at NHS Greater Glasgow Communications on 0141 201 4429.

Copies of the booklet that details health and social care services available over the Christmas and New Year period can be found on the NHS Greater Glasgow web-site www.nhsgg.org.uk

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