RESIDENTS in Inverclyde were left without any out-of-hours GP for a full 48 hours.

The service run from Greenock Health Centre and then Inverclyde Royal after midnight was closed down on the weekend of March 30 and 31.

It meant patients were again forced to travel to a centre in Paisley instead.

Health campaigner Martin McCluskey, who will be Labour's local candidate at the next general election, slammed the latest closure.

He is calling on the NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde health board to start publishing details about their out-of-hours service.

Mr McCluskey said: "It is highly unusual for a centre to be closed for 48 hours.

"This is a major development and a real concern for the future.

"The health board has a duty to provide people with access to a GP and people in Inverclyde are getting short-changed.

"This is a major concern.

"I want to see the health board publish data, the way they do for A&E, telling people how often the out-of-hours is closed."

The Tele recently revealed how the GP out-of-hours service in Inverclyde was closed on 45 occasions within a year.

The health board say it is a result of a shortage of doctors.

They are currently carrying out a review of the out-of-hours service, looking to address the concerns.

But Mr McCluskey added: "Theis review just goes on and on.

"They need to do something now."

Health board bosses today confirmed the closure.

A spokeswoman said: "Due to a shortage of GPs, the out of hours service based at the Greenock Health Centre and Inverclyde Royal Hospital was unavailable that weekend.

"Patients who contacted NHS24 during the period of closure were directed to the GP out of hours centre at the Royal Alexandra Hospital which was staffed with both GPs and primary care nurses.

"Our GP home visiting service was also available as normal for patients who were assessed by NHS 24 as requiring this.

"There is always transport available for patients who do not have access to their own transport.

"NHS GGC operates eight GP out of hours centres and when there are not enough GPs willing to cover all of these, we need to concentrate these staff at our busiest centres.

"A review of out of hours services across Greater Glasgow and Clyde has been under way since last year to identify a model that meets the needs of our local population and as we have already stated the review this is not yet complete."