Out of hours care cover ‘not cut’

FOLLOWING concerns about rumours that the Borders Emergency Care Service (BECS) has been withdrawn, NHS Borders Chief Executive Calum Campbell has spoken out in a bid to allay public fears.

Speaking to The Southern this week, he said: “It has been stated that out of hours care cover has been cut from towns. Cover has not been cut. A number of changes to how the OOH service is operated have been implemented since August 2013 in response to the national shortage of doctors. The service continues to perform well and response times have improved on the same period last year. I wish to put the record straight and reassure the public that NHS Borders continues to operate a safe, effective and responsive out-of-hours service across the region.”

He added: “Patient safety remains our number one priority. Our next steps are to develop a future model that is more resilient and mitigates the risks that the current out-of-hours service has been facing as a result of the GP staffing problems.

“Central to the new model will, of course, be our ability to continue to provide safe, effective and person centred care. This process will involve a full engagement exercise with the public and other stakeholders.”