NHS Borders is working on a new model of care to ensure that future medical provision is sustainable, and included in its proposals are plans for out-of-hours care.
There has been widespread concern across many Berwickshire communities since all GP out-of-hour shifts were centralised at Borders General Hospital in January this year. There was no prior consultation about the changes made by NHS Borders in response to increasing difficulties recruiting GPs to cover the out-of-hours services based at Duns, Hawick and Kelso.
Now, however, local people will have a chance to have their say about the long-term plan for NHS Borders to provide out-of-hours emergency cover in Berwickshire and across the Borders.
A twelve-week consultation period began this week and patients, carers, staff, partner agencies and the public are being invited to give their thoughts and views on the proposals for future delivery of healthcare in the region.
When it comes to out-of-hours services the plan is for services to remain centralised and if a home visit is assessed as necessary by staff at the Emergency Department and Borders Emergency Care Service department it will be “carried out by the most appropriate clinician, for example the paramedic nurse or doctor.
“Changes in the workforce would make the service less dependent on the doctor and more resilient.”
Calum Campbell, NHS Borders chief executive said: “To accommodate the increasing demand across our services we require a radical and innovative approach to how they are provided. This presents an opportunity to explore new models of care, with a focus on integration of services where possible.”
The Clinical Strategy consultation document can be found at www.nhsborders.org.uk and is also available in a number of locations across the region. A paper format is available on request; email firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone Freephone 0800 7314052.