FUTURE closures of the Inverclyde GP out-of-hours centre will be made public - thanks to pressure put on by campaigners.

Martin McCluskey, who will stand for Labour at the next general election, has been pressing NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde's chief executive Jane Grant, to be more transparent on the issue.

He called on health board bosses to publish the figures in much the same way at the A&E waiting times.

The Inverclyde-based service has been been closed up to 45 times in the last year with doctors often sent to cover elsewhere in the health board area.

Patients face travelling to Paisley at all times of the night to see a GP instead.

Now the chief executive has written to Mr McCluskey agreeing to include the closures in a performance report.

Mr McCluskey said: "I've been pushing since March for more transparency from the health board about out-of-hours GP closures in Inverclyde.

"We know that in some months this year, there have been seven closures a month, meaning that people from Inverclyde have to travel to Paisley for treatment.

"I'm pleased that after pressure from myself and many local campaigners, the health board have agreed to publish details of closures in one of their regular reports."

The GP out-of-hours service is currently under review but Inverclyde Joint Integration Board recently criticised the health board for the length of time it is taking.

In one month alone the service, based both at the Greenock Health Centre and IRH, was shut seven times because of a shortage of doctors.

Mr McCluskey says the health board is failing in its duty to keep local out-of-hours doctors in Inverclyde to serve patients.

He added: "It is disappointing, that the health board are still refusing to keep Inverclyde's doctors in Inverclyde.

"We have the ridiculous situation right now where patients have to travel to Paisley for overnight treatment, but often doctors have reported for duty at the health centre and been sent elsewhere.

"This has to stop."

Chief executive Ms Grant has told him that talks were 'ongoing' to improve the service.

Bosses are looking at taking on nurse practitioners and dedicated, salaried GPs posts to staff the service.

Ms Grant's letter said: "We collect data regularly surrounding trend activity and location of care.

"This data assists us in ensuring that patient safety is maintained.

"With regards to the publication of our figures I can confirm that the figures will be published within our bi-monthly board integrated performance report and will be publicly accessible via the NHS GGC website."