CAMPAIGNERS for the Vale of Leven Hospital say they have reached agreement with NHS officials on a local rota system to staff the hospital’s GP out-of-hours service.

Talks took place after the health board announced last month that people from Helensburgh and Lomond, as well as Dumbarton and the Vale of Leven, would have to make appointments to use the service.

Jim Moohan from the Hospitalwatch campaign group said: “The rota system will ensure protection at first hand for the community and a better connection to take away long travelling to see a GP.

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"Coupled with a new appointments system rolled out at the start of June, which allows patients to be cared for from home via video and telephone consultation, alongside face-to-face appointments and physical home visits, we are confident the new approach will improve local access to out-of-hours care at the Vale and meet the needs of the community now, and for the long-term."

A spokesperson for NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde commented: "We have been working in partnership with the local HSCP and with GPs in the area to create a rota system.

"This will ensure clinical staff are available to fulfil shifts to operate a GP out-of-hours service which extends beyond the current overnight cover.

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"We are committed to the GP out-of-hours service at the Vale of Leven and have ensured the community continue to have access to a GP out-of-hours in the short-term, as we look to implement long-term improvements to extend the service."

The area’s MSP, Jackie Baillie, said: “I am pleased that progress is being made with local GPs taking over the staffing of the out of hours service.

“This is something that I have pursued with the Cabinet Secretary for Health as the lack of a reliable service from NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde was affecting people’s health and well-being.”

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