NHS Grampian bosses have apologised to any patient struggling to get a GP appointment in a response to concerns raised by Banff and Buchan MP David Duguid.
The Scottish Conservative MP wrote to the local health board last month on behalf of constituents reporting problems with getting to see a doctor face-to-face.
GP surgeries across the country implemented changes during the COVID-19 lockdown, with patients told not to stay at home if they thought they had Coronavirus symptoms, while phone and video appointments were introduced. However, the public were reminded throughout the summer not to delay seeking help if they thought they were unwell.
In the written response to Mr Duguid, NHS Grampian chief executive Amanda Croft apologised and urged people to contact their GP practice directly if their needs are not being met.
She said Covid-19 regulations have reduced the number of people that can be in any GP waiting room, and there had been a reduction in appointments to allow appropriate PPE use and cleaning of consulting rooms between patients.
Ms Croft said that anyone contacting a local surgery should be triaged by telephone or the E-Consult online system to “ensure patients have their issues dealt with in a timely way by the appropriate clinician’.
Scottish Conservative MP for Banff and Buchan David Duguid said:
“I am grateful to NHS Grampian for the detailed response to my concerns and the apology to constituents that have struggled to access GP appointments.
“I think most people are understanding of the challenges faced by all GP surgeries in adapting to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“But the public have been forced to adjust quickly to significant changes, including a move away from face-to-face appointments with more consultations online or over the phone.
“That is not an easy adjustment to make and many people will need reassurance that they will still be seen in person if necessary.
“I am happy to discuss this in more detail with any constituent that still has concerns and of course, NHS Grampian can also deal with such concerns directly.”