Summary Report of the National Review Primary Care Out of Hours Services

A Summary Report of the independent Review of Primary Care Out of Hours Services Chaired by Prof Sir Lewis Ritchie. The Main Report, which accompanies this summary version, provides a more comprehensive overview of the Review, its methodology, findings and rationale for the recommendations proposed.

Key Definitions

Primary Care: Primary care provides access to care at the right time when it is required and secures ongoing care in the community and continuity of relationships, where this is important. In addition to GP practices, primary care services covers: community services - including: district and community nursing, mental health and dental services, community pharmacies, optometrists - and for effective health and social care integration - social care services, third and independent sector provision

Out of Hours: This describes the period when general practice services are normally closed. By regulation, general medical (GP) services are provided between 08.00 and 18.30, Monday to Friday, with no obligation to deliver services outwith these times. In practice out of hours provision often starts at 18.00

Urgent Care: Urgent care in the community that requires a response before the next routine care service is available

Emergency Care: Care that requires an immediate response to a time-critical health care need.

Scottish Ambulance Service taking care to the patient
Scottish Ambulance Service taking care to the patient


Email: Diane Campion

Back to top