GPs and pharmacies to stay open over May bank holiday

The additional hours will be funded by an £8.2m investment from the Scottish Government.

GP services and community pharmacies are to stay open over the May bank holiday, health secretary Jeane Freeman has said.

The extra hours will be funded by an £8.2m investment from the Scottish Government.

Services were also available during last month’s Easter bank holidays.

The health secretary said that community pharmacies will continue to offer the minor ailment service which has been instituted to take pressure off GP practices during the coronavirus outbreak.

The NHS 24 helpline will also continue to operate during the holiday with more call handlers than usual.

Freeman said: “Health and social care staff are already working incredibly hard to look after people during this pandemic, and I want to thank each and every one of them for their ongoing commitment and dedication during this unprecedented time.

“Last month we asked GP services to remain open during the Easter holidays and once again, we have asked them to do the same for the May public holidays.”

Dr Andrew Buist, the chairman of the British Medical Association’s (BMA) Scottish GP committee, welcomed the increase in funding to support the increased opening times.

He added: “It is very important for patients to know their NHS is open for non-Covid-19 related health concerns, and they should always contact their GP if they have any worries.

“General practice is part of the protective ring around Scotland’s hospital system as we fight this pandemic.”