The Out of Hours (OOH) Service in Tayside has thanked patients and staff for their support during the busy festive period.
The OOH service in Angus, Dundee and Perth and Kinross faced a high demand over the holiday period, dealing with nearly 4100 contacts while GP surgeries were closed.
Thanks to a core of dedicated staff, GPs and nurse practitioners, the service ran efficiently over the holiday period providing the best quality care possible for patients in Tayside.
Including patients attending primary care emergency centres, telephone advice and home visits, the service dealt with 1905 contacts over the Christmas period and 2186 contacts over the New Year.
Dr Jane Bruce, Clinical Director for the OOH service, said: “We want to thank the whole OOH team, including GPs, nurses, administration staff and drivers, for all their efforts to keep the service running at maximum possible efficiency.
“Members of the public have been very supportive and have understood the demands upon the service during the holiday period, allowing us to deliver the best quality care possible at all times.”
Dr Bruce also urged members of the public to ensure they know where to get the right treatment, at the right place, at the right time.
When GP surgeries are closed, the out of hours service and emergency departments see a significant increase in attendances, some of which could be dealt with elsewhere.
The out of hours service is for patients who become ill during the out of hours period and who cannot wait until their GP opens.
Dedicated teams of GPs, nurses, administration staff, drivers and minor injury and illness unit staff in rural areas ensure that the service delivers safe and effective care to patients across Tayside.
Dr Bruce added: “Our priority is to ensure that patients receive the most suitable care in the right place at the right time.
“If you have a problem during an OOH period which cannot wait until GP surgeries reopen, you should contact NHS 24 on 111 and if you need to be seen, an appointment or a home visit will be arranged.
“However, with some minor illnesses and injuries, it is not always necessary to see a doctor or nurse and you can get helpful advice from your local community pharmacist to care for yourself at home.
“By ensuring that you access the right services for treatment, you can help us to focus on emergencies and problems that cannot wait until normal operating hours.”