Senior Scottish Government health officials are to meet with the health board over out-of-hours GP services being shut at the weekend.

Earlier this week the Evening Times reported that only one of five out of hours GP units was open because doctors were not “willing to work”.

The shortage occurred between midnight on Saturday and 8am on Sunday, forcing people to go to an A&E department for treatment.

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde confirmed the shortage.

Clare Haughey, Mental Health Minister, said she was not satisfied with the service and said steps must be taken to ensure it does not happen again.

Read more: Glasgow left without out-of-hours healthcare after GPs refuse to work

Only the Vale of Leven, in West Dunbartonshire, was able to operate an out of hours service across NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde on Sunday morning with none within the city available.

Ms Haughey said the Scottish Government had provided £6.6m for out of hours services, following a review by Sir Lewis Ritchie.

She said Sir Lewis and senior Scottish Government health officials will be meeting with NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde management regarding the review of services and the difficulties the board is experiencing.

Labour and Conservative MSPs had raised the shortage with the minister, stating the lack of GP cover only put more pressure on already stretched casualty departments on a busy Saturday night into Sunday morning period.

Jamie Greene, Conservative MSP said: “When people in the south side or east end of Glasgow phone NHS 24 and are directed to an out-of-hours service, it is virtually impossible out of hours to get to that location because it requires a taxi or a lengthy car journey.

“Most people will turn up at an accident and emergency unit, which puts more pressure on our emergency centres on busy Saturday nights.”

He wanted to know what the Scottish Government was doing about GPs who are contracted to work out of hours shifts but were choosing not to.

He said: “What are the reasons behind GPs choosing not to do those shifts? Why is it becoming a systemic problem in Glasgow?”

Read more of today's top Glasgow stories 

Ms Haughey said: “My understanding is that arrangements were put in place between NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde and NHS 24 over the weekend to deal with the closures. Home visits by GPs were available to people who had clinical need for that.

“I am not happy with the level of service, and I expect NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde and the health and social care partnerships to take every possible step to stop that happening again.”

She said the top-level meeting would take place next Monday.

Anas Sarwar, Glasgow Labour MSP, said that staff as well as patients were affected by the lack of a GP service.

He said: “Obviously, Saturday night is a peak time for accident and emergency services across the west of Scotland and the whole of Scotland.

“There are two impacts. One is on patients who perhaps have to wait longer to access NHS 24, or who show up in A & E departments when they would not normally do so, which increases their waiting time.

“There is also an impact on the NHS staff, who are already overworked and who face more pressures because there are fewer staff and more requirements on them.”

He wanted to know what urgent action was being taken.

Ms Haughey said: “I am not happy with the level of out-of-hours service that was provided at the weekend. We expect NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde and the health and social care partnership to look at the service to ensure that we do not end up in the same situation again.”