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National Review of Primary Care Out-of-Hours Services

The Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport, Shona Robison MSP, launched the Report of the National Review of Primary Care Out of Hours Services on November 30, 2015, following its commission on January 30, 2015:

Professor Sir Lewis Ritchie OBE (the Review Chair) led this work with the following aims to review the current delivery landscape and recommend action to ensure primary care out of hours services:

  • Are person-centred, sustainable, high quality, safe and effective
  • Provide access to relevant urgent care when needed
  • Deliver the right skill mix of professional support for patients during the out-of-hours period

Membership of the Review included a diverse range of public, professional and other stakeholders. The main Review Group, which provided the overall decision making and governance function, had a wide range of members from health, social care, voluntary and third sectors.

A themed-based approach was adopted with four task groups set up to examine workforce matters; how data and technology can enable improvements; explore new models of care and explore what a quality out-of-hours service would look like.

As a follow-up to that period of work, we have committed £1m to testing the Review Chair's recommended new model of urgent care and are working with seven sites throughout Scotland testing various aspects of this model.

Examples include trialling the presence of GPs and Nurse Practitioners in acute hospital settings as well as out-of-hours care hubs, to ensure that patients are directed to the right healthcare practitioner.

The results of this Initial Testing Programme will inform the National Delivery Plan for the Transformation of Urgent Care, for which £10m has been set aside in 2016/17.  This will deliver both national and local initiatives over the immediate and longer term towards enabling improvements in urgent care services.