HEALTH services in Lanarkshire are experiencing more pressure than at any other point in their history. 

That's the view of NHS Lanarkshire chiefs who have tonight defended GPs in the area following some recent criticism from patients. 

Health board bosses say medics are doing "their absolute best" and critics are being "unfair" by not recognising the unique challenges of the Covid pandemic. It comes amid sustained pressure from the bug and ongoing sickness absence amongst staff. 

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Heather Knox, chief executive, NHS Lanarkshire said: “Our GPs have done a fantastic job throughout the pandemic and deserve all of our gratitude for the professionalism and commitment they have shown in adapting services and coping with the challenges of Covid-19.

“Their input has been vital to ensuring that we care for and protect the sickest in our communities and keep our health services safe.

“I know patients have been frustrated at times due to the way that Covid-19 has affected all health services.

"This has led to some unfair criticism of GPs in particular and I don’t think people have always understood the level of pressure they have been working under during the pandemic.

Glasgow Times: Hospitals such as Airdrie's Monklands are under sustained pressure Hospitals such as Airdrie's Monklands are under sustained pressure

“The fact is that our GPs have been doing their absolute best to care for patients through a challenging time.”

The third Covid wave, coupled with a significant increase in complex cases attending our hospitals and health centres and staff sickness absences, is having a profound effect on the number of people accessing healthcare across Lanarkshire, health chiefs say. 

Dr Linda Findlay, medical director, South Lanarkshire Health and Social Care Partnership, said: “The safety of our patients is always our top priority. We continue to see sustained pressures on the health and care system.


“Health services across Lanarkshire are being delivered in a different way than before the pandemic and I would like to thank GPs for all that they have done and continue to do for their patients in the face of the ongoing pandemic.

“All our staff continue to work extremely hard to ensure that patients are seen and treated as quickly as possible in the most challenging of circumstances and ask that people please be kind to our staff and colleagues who are committed to caring, no matter the circumstances.”