Primary care support for Galloway GPs

Paramedics Stuart Mars and Suzanne Nicholson, Head of Ambulance Services Kenny McFadzean and Wigtownshire GP Dr Charlie Dunnett.
Paramedics Stuart Mars and Suzanne Nicholson, Head of Ambulance Services Kenny McFadzean and Wigtownshire GP Dr Charlie Dunnett.

Local GPs are being assisted by clinical professionals as part of a new three-year primary care transformation.

Paramedics, pharmacists and mental health nurses are taking on new responsibilities under terms agreed by the Scottish Government and the British Medical Association.

The changes will see services such as blood tests, repeat prescriptions and treatment for minor ailments transfer to Dumfries and Galloway Health and Social Care Partnership.

Clinical pharmacists are meeting patients and provideing expert consultation around medications.

Paramedics are starting to play a key role in providing home visiting support for some GP practices, with a six-month trial currently underway in the Machars.

Mental health nurses are set to become a regular feature in GP practices, delivering support and offering early help and intervention for patients.

Dr Grecy Bell, the partnership’s deputy medical director, said: “Three years may seem like a long time, but the scale of transformation resulting from the new contract for GPs is really significant.

“We’re confident that we’ve identified the areas where we can begin making changes, which will allow GPs more time to focus on working with patients and their communities and which will result in the largest immediate impact.

“However, we are conscious that there is still a great deal to be accomplished by April 2021, against the backdrop of a region with an ageing population spread across a rural landscape and with limited resources in terms of finance and staffing.”

The partnership is keen to receive public feedback on the primary care changes.

Videos focusing on the work of clinical pharmacists, paramedics and mental health nurses can be seen on the DGNHS YouTube channel and via social media.