The first batch of 80 health professionals including pharmacists, mental health nurses, physiotherapists and advanced nurse practitioners are now part of the NHS Forth Valley’s new primary care and they will help GP’s to free up their time to deal with more complex cases.
According to NHS Forth Valley, this new way of working is a part of their Primary Care Improvement Plans, which is developed in response to some of the requirements of the new Scottish GP contract. A total number of 200 additional healthcare professionals are being recruited.
Pharmacists now offer support for patients in Falkirk town centre and North West Stirling. NHS Forth Valley will soon recruit ten more pharmacists to Stenhousemuir, Denny and Bonnybridge.
They will undertake medicine reviews, deal with repeat prescriptions and eventually hold their own clinics.
“The key issue for people is that there will be a broader range of expertise available at their local GP practice, helping with both diagnosis and the management of a wide range of conditions, medicine reviews and urgent appointments for new and existing illnesses,” Lesley Middlemiss, Programme Manager for Primary Care Transformation across Forth Valley, said in a statement.
“It’s a really positive move towards greater team work. This is not about replacing GPs who remain at the heart of Primary Care, but easing pressure and making sure that patients get the best help where they need it the most.”
One in four GP posts across Scotland is currently vacant and the NHS believes that these changes will help to share the care needs and workload experienced by family doctors.