A consultation exercise is to be carried out by NHS Lanarkshire to allow the public to have their say on the provision of out-of-hours services.
The organisation’s board last week agreed to carry out the formal three-month exercise starting in January.
The decision follows an extensive review of the Out Of Hours Service with a wide range of stakeholders that has taken place over the past year.
The Lanarkshire Out Of Hours Service, which is accessed through the NHS24 national 111 service, is for urgent assessment and treatment at the evenings and weekends when GP practices are closed.
Craig Cunningham, head of South Lanarkshire Community Health Partnership, NHS Lanarkshire, said: “As is the situation in other parts of the country, we are under consistent pressure due to the low numbers of GPs who are available to work sessions in the service.
“Our priority is to provide the people of Lanarkshire with a safe, person-centred and effective out of hours service that best meets their needs.
“It is simply no longer possible to do that without making changes to the existing service model. Frequently staff availability is extremely unpredictable and as a result patients often have to wait longer to be seen than they should.”
Patients, carers and staff have been heavily involved in a review process, helping to develop and assess alternative service models.