Over 5,000 calls were handled by the Tayside Out-of-Hours Service, which has a centre in Arbroath, during the festive period.
The Out-of-Hours Service takes over patient care when GP surgeries are closed. Dedicated teams of GPs, nurses, administration staff and drivers ensure that the Service delivers safe and effective care to patients across Tayside.
Over these festive days staff working in the Out-of-Hours Service dealt with 5,537 patients, this was an increase of more than a third on last year. Clinicians carried out 1,147 home visits and saw 3,383 patients who attended for appointments at centres in Arbroath, Perth and Dundee as well as at Minor Illness and Injury Units in Perthshire and Angus.
During the eight days of public holiday, staff attended to a range of conditions including very ill babies and children and adults with serious chest and heart conditions. They also attended to patients with complex palliative care delivered at home as well as a large number of patients with winter respiratory tract infections.
Dr Jane Bruce, medical director of the Out-of-Hours Service said: “The festive public holiday period proved an extremely busy time for Tayside’s Out-of-Hours Service and the teams in each locality, with support from colleagues across NHS Tayside, coped with the huge challenges of dealing with an exceptionally high volume of sick patients. It was very rewarding to be part of such a dedicated and committed team delivering this vital service.”
The Tayside Out-of-Hours Service is open from 6 p.m. until 8 a.m. each weekday and 24 hours at weekends and public holidays. This service is for patients who become ill during the out-of-hours period and who cannot wait until their GP surgery opens. The service is by appointment only and can be accessed by calling NHS 24 on 111.