“Progress is being made in the development of a pioneering and innovative model for the provision of Unscheduled Care in the Borders”. That is the message from NHS Borders Medical Director, Dr Sheena MacDonald.
The health board faces significant challenges to provide unscheduled, out of hours and emergency care.
This is due to workforce challenges including a shortage of GPs who are willing to work out of hours, as well as limited numbers of speciality grade staff to work in the emergency department especially overnight.
However a team of NHS Borders clinicians and senior managers, as well as representatives of partner agencies including the Scottish Ambulance Service (SAS) are working together to redesign services to ensure they continue to deliver safe, effective and high quality patient-centred care as close to patient’s homes as possible, which will avoid unnecessary hospital attendance and admissions.
Executive Programme Lead, Dr MacDonald said: “Workforce challenges have actually presented us with an opportunity to develop a redesigned unscheduled care service that is sustainable and is underpinned by a skilled multidisciplinary workforce who possess core, transferable skills.
“By developing a new nurse led service delivery model we will gradually move away from the traditional doctor-led models. This gives our nurses the opportunity to up-skill, training to become Nurse or Advanced Nurse Practitioners. Once this model is in place it will enable us to deliver a more efficient service.”