Borderers are being encouraged to share their views on local primary out-of-hours service as part of a national review.
Launched in January by Health Secretary Shona Robison, the review is considering how best to deliver out-of-hour services in light of the challenges of Scotland’s ageing population, and as health and social care services become better integrated.
Throughout the summer the review team will visit every health board area in Scotland in order to gather feedback. The Borders visit took place on July 7, when Professor Lewis Ritchie met with medical and nursing staff, and engaged with a patient focus group.
The visits will enable the review team to better understand issues facing the delivery and sustainability of primary care services when GP surgeries are closed, such as the recruitment and retention of GPs, staff availability, consistency of service and public expectations.
NHS Borders Medical Director, Dr Sheena MacDonald said: “Since January 2014 NHS Borders has been operating a centralised primary care out-of-hours service from Borders General Hospital to ensure we can provide continuous and safe levels of care across the whole of the Borders region during out-of-hours periods.
“As a result, patient satisfaction has remained high, performance in achieving home visiting has improved, and the service has become much more resilient with significantly less reliance on ad hoc agency and locum staffing.
“Additionally, nursing resource has been increased and the service is seeing the benefits of this change both in terms of response times and overall levels of staff engagement and retention.
“I urge everyone who is interested to share their views as part of the national review and we look forward to the publication of the findings in the autumn.”
Anyone wishing to share an experience or offer a view on the primary care out-of-hours service can do so at OutofHoursReview@scotland.gsi.gov.uk
Written contributions can also be submitted via the Review’s web space in the Your Views are Important to Us section at http://sh45inta/Topics/Health/Services/nrpcooh