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Caithness News Bulletins September 2004
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TALKS ON OUT OF HOURS PROGRESSING
NHS Highland has announced details of progress on its discussions with local communities and GPs about plans to provide an alternative service when GPs take up their option of opting out of providing services outside surgery opening hours.
Dr Iain Scott, Clinical Director of the South East Highland Community Health Partnership, suggested though that there was still some way to go.
“These revised proposals reflect the discussions NHS Highland officials have been having over the last few months with local communities and with GPs. These are continuing, as there is still a lot of detail to be worked out yet at local level. They have moved a long way from the original proposals, as a result of these discussions, especially in Badenoch and Strathspey and in East and Central Sutherland. ”
“We have to be able to deliver the service and, in some areas, we believe that there may be a shortfall of local doctors to work in the new service. We have therefore been advertising for new salaried doctors to work in the new service. There has been a good response so far and interviews will be held shortly.”
“This is not about saving money. The original proposals were going to cost an additional £4 million. Each of the three Community Health Partnerships (CHP) in Highland have assessed the revised proposals as being affordable within the overall CHP funds.”
He added that there was still time for the public to
comment on the new proposals:
Comments on the proposals should be sent to: NHS
Highland, Out of Hours Consultation, Assynt House, Beechwood Park,
Inverness, IV2 3HG or by email to
All the proposals will require the approval of the Board of NHS Highland at its meeting on 5th October 2004.
NHS Boards have the option, subject to national
regulations and appeal mechanisms, to refuse to allow GP Practices to opt
out of Out Of Hours services if they do not feel there are safe
alternative arrangements in place.