Primary Care National Out of Hours Oversight Group: terms of reference

Terms of reference for the Primary Care National Out of Hours Oversight Group.


In August 2018, the Scottish Government hosted a meeting of key stakeholders to discuss sustainability and resilience issues that would support out of hours delivered by Health and Social Care Partnerships.  This meeting looked at various issues which were seen as potential barriers to encouraging GP’s to work in the out of hours period and short listed some potential actions which could be taken.  It was subsequently agreed that there was value in this group reconvening as an oversight group to track progress of the actions identified at that meeting and to provide oversight of other actions previously identified in Sir Lewis Ritchie’s report Pulling together: transforming urgent care for the people of Scotland, to ensure their delivery.

Purpose of the Group

This group will:

  • Provide scrutiny and advice on the developments being taken forward to improve sustainability and resilience of out of hours services being delivered by Health and Social Care Partnerships
  • Monitor delivery of those actions (existing and new) that have been prioritised by the group and provide advice and support to aid delivery, based on their expertise.
  • Promote and enable the sharing of best practice and common approaches to the delivery of out of hours across their own networks.


The objectives of this group are to support the development of an out of hours service that is sustainable and resilient from a national perspective and to ensure that focus and momentum to achieve that is developed and maintained. The group will agree and publish an annual report on OOH, the first of which will be produced by end March 2020. 

Membership and meeting schedule

The suggested membership of the group is:

  • Scottish Government Primary Care Division (Chair)
  • SGPC
  • RCGP
  • Representatives of Chief Officers
  • Chair of National Operations Group 
  • Representative from SAS
  • Representative from NHS24
  • Representative from NES
  • Representative from HIS
  • Representative of NHS Boards
  • Sir Lewis Ritchie, Professional Adviser SG
  • Nursing profession

Connection to wider system

There are a range of groups involved in transforming health and social care in Scotland.  The membership of this group will ensure an effective connection with these groups to encourage a whole system approach to service delivery with the aim of working towards a 24/7 healthcare system.  Key groups include:

  • Primary Care Leads
  • Chief Officer Special Interest Group on Primary Care
  • Primary Care Sustainability Group 
  • National Out of Hours Operational Leads Group (including sub groups e.g. Adastra Subgroup)


It is expected that members will make every effort to attend meetings of the group and that if necessary they can send a deputy.

The Out of Hours and Urgent Care Team in the SG Primary Care Division will provide the secretariat. Papers for the meeting will be provided at least one week in advance of the meeting.  A draft note of the meeting will be circulated within 2 weeks of the meeting.

If need be, advice and decisions by the group can be sought out-with the meeting cycle by email.

It is proposed that this group will meet 3 times a year. (Jan, Apr, Sept)

The Secretariat will maintain an action log and risk register and this will be reported on at each meeting of the group.


The group will produce an annual report on the resilience and sustainability of OOH services across Scotland.



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