Paisley’s MSP asked the Health Secretary what support is being made available for constituents who need access to primary care services during the upcoming bank holiday, and what advice she can give to those who are concerned during these unprecedented times.

George Adam raised this issue in the chamber in the Scottish Parliament on Tuesday and is very pleased to see a further funding package being made available to help those in need when services would normally be closed.

Funded by £8.2 million from the Scottish Government, GP services and community pharmacies have been asked to remain open on the May public holidays, with NHS 24 operating with an increased number of call handlers.

In response to George’s question, Jeane Freeman, Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport, 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.

“Community pharmacies will also be open so they can continue to provide advice and treatment through the extended Minor Ailment Service for minor illnesses and common conditions. We have also taken steps to ensure NHS 24 can continue to meet the increase in demand.”

Praising this announcement, Paisley’s MSP said:

“Once again, the Scottish Government are stepping up to the plate to ensure our constituents are as supported as possible while the lockdown continues, and have access to all the necessary primary care services they may need during these extraordinary times.

“I think I can speak for all of my colleagues when I say that Jeane Freeman is an excellent example of what the SNP in government are capable of, as she continues to handle this public health crisis with steadfast commitment and sincere dedication to the people of Scotland and those in our incredible health care sector.

“As I’ve said before, and I’m sure I’ll say again, it is during times of difficulty that a community can truly come together and that is certainly what is happening here in our town and indeed across Scotland.

“From the weekly clap for carers and NHS staff, to the wonderful work of volunteers and the genuine acts of kindness happening across the country right now; I am very hopeful that we will come out of this pandemic with a stronger sense of community and a continued willingness to check in and help our neighbours whenever we can.”

While the lockdown continues, it is important for patients to know that the NHS is open and prepared for non-COVID-19 related health concerns, and that GPs should remain the first point of contact if anyone has any worries or issues. 

Continued up to date health advice can be found at NHS Inform.