GP services to be 'streamlined' as NHS Borders reveals new primary care plan

Speculation that doctors surgeries will never again operate as they did pre-pandemic seems to have been well founded, with phone and video call consultations set to continue as part of NHS Borders’ new primary care plan.

By Kirsty Smyth
Wednesday, 16th February 2022, 1:06 pm

The health board says the new model, which will see GP Practice teams expanded to include pharmacists, physiotherapists and psychologists, will make it easier to access care from a wide range of healthcare professionals.

Patients contacting GP practices will be asked questions before being “signposted” to the most appropriate service, or made an appointment with a suitable medical professional

NHS Borders believes that people who benefit most from the expert knowledge of GPs are patients with multiple conditions or complex needs, and that the “streamlining” of services will help to maximise the time GPs can spend caring for those who require their expertise.

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The Knoll hospital and health centre, Station Road, Duns

Its new plan says that “depending on your clinical needs and the nature of your condition, appointments may be over the phone, through video call or in person".

New services include the mental health service ‘Renew’ and First Contact Physiotherapists.

Dr Kirsty Robinson, the GP Primary Care Improvement Plan Lead and GP Partner at Eyemouth Medical Practice, said: “We are pleased to be rolling out and embedding several new services such as the mental health service ‘Renew’ and First Contact Physiotherapists. These new services and specialists will provide more efficient routes to access appropriate care.

“GPs will continue to work collaboratively with a range of healthcare professionals to deliver coordinated, quality care to Borders residents.

"We have been working for a few years now to plan and implement these changes in line with national guidance, so to have successfully managed this during a global pandemic is a great achievement. I am grateful to everyone who has been involved.”

General manager for Primary and Community Services at NHS Borders, Cathy Wilson, added: “Healthcare is changing to better suit everyone’s needs and the Primary Care Improvement Plan is one way we are modernising our services in the Borders.

"Since this concept was launched nationally in 2018 a lot has changed but the refreshed primary care model that it brings could not have come at a better time.

“There is high demand on our services at present. By having additional care and treatment options available in communities across the Borders, we will be able to provide a more streamlined service to you which in turn could help you to better manage your condition or potentially even recover quicker.”