Scotland’s out of hours services is under increasing strain, the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) has warned.
Urgent action is needed to ensure patient safety over weekends, and public holidays, according to the organisation.
A report recently published by the Scottish government shows that provision for GP out of hours services is “confused”.
Theresa Fyffe, RCN Scotland’s director said: “We all want to see more care delivered safely in the community, so that more patients are treated closer to or at home and with fewer people admitted to hospital.
“In some areas of Scotland, highly qualified and skilled advance nurse practitioners are offering appropriate care and treatment to patients out of hours and we need to build on this and provide more opportunities and resources for nurses to step up to this challenge.”
The report showed there are difficulties in all NHS boards in staffing the required number of our of hours shifts.
Theresa said: “There is work being undertaken by the government to look at these issues and we are playing a full part in it. This report shows clearly that it needs to be taken forward as a matter of priority.”