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Last Updated: Friday, 31 December, 2004, 07:50 GMT
Scots doctors no longer on call
Doctor and patient
GP out-of-hours services are set to change in the New Year
From midnight on Friday GPs will no longer have the responsibility of looking after patients out of hours.

Under new laws it will fall to health boards to make sure arrangements are in place to treat those who need to see a doctor after their surgery closes.

The change comes as part of the new contract for family doctors and means it will be up to them to decide if they want to work at nights and weekends.

But in remote communities it may mean local doctors continue to be on call.

From 1 January, any GP calls outside normal hours will be automatically forwarded to the NHS helpline NHS 24.

There, teams of nurses will decide whether the call warrants medical attention and, if so, whether it should be from a doctor or the emergency services.

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