NHS Lanarkshire to review ‘managed suspension’ of GP services

A health board will decide next week whether to reintroduce services after telling its GPs to only focus on the most serious cases as it creaked under the Omicron wave.

NHS Lanarkshire, which remains at the highest black alert level, said on January 11 that all GP surgeries would be moved to a “managed suspension of services”, and would only focus on the most urgent and time-critical care.

The “managed suspension” was set to last four weeks, as services in the area dealt with record coronavirus cases and high levels of staff absence.

The health board has now said it will review the situation.

Dr Sharon Russell, associate medical director of South Lanarkshire Health and Social Care Partnership, warned there “continues to be significant pressure across the whole system, including our acute hospitals, which are under sustained pressure”.

She added: “This is being kept under regular review, however, and we will again review the position next week to assess if our GPs are able to return to level one given that many of our community and other healthcare services are able to increase access to services that the GPs are required to access to operate at level one.”

Dr Russell said staffing levels are returning to normal following the Omicron wave, and a survey of GPs to “assess their readiness to restore services” has had good responses. 

She added: “All our health services across Lanarkshire continue to prioritise those patients in need of urgent care.”

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