A NATIONAL initiative aimed at helping to ensure patients receive care from the right person at the right time is coming to another practice in Dumfries and Galloway.
NHS 24’s GP Triage service is set to launch at Lockerbie Medical Practice, as part of a programme which has already seen it introduced in Sanquhar and Kelloholm.
The new service is aimed at supporting patients who contact their GP practice requesting a same day appointment.
Patients will continue to contact their practice for appointment requests.
Under the new programme, some patients requesting a same day appointment will be contacted by NHS 24 healthcare team who will offer the most appropriate method of care, such as nurse practitioners, pharmacists, mental health nurses and physiotherapists within their local area.
Importantly, those patients who require to see a GP will still do so, but for some their needs may be best met by seeing another health professional. Patients with minor ailments or medicine queries could be directed to their community pharmacist. And where appropriate, others may be signposted to self-help information such as that available on the website NHS Inform.
Dr Grecy Bell is Deputy Medical Director for Dumfries and Galloway Health and Social Care Partnership, and said: “We’re very pleased with how the GP Triage service is working in Upper Nithsdale, and the advantages it is bringing to patients.
“We’ve seen the benefits the service can bring to the whole primary care system, helping to ensure that the most complex or pressing cases are given thorough and immediate consideration.
“NHS 24 GP Triage also means that those people who are best supported by other healthcare professionals are directed straight to them.
“We’re hoping that patients and staff in Lockerbie, will quickly see the benefits, and as with other locations in the region the results will be closely monitored so as to ensure that it is working as designed.”
Dr Anna Lamont, Assistant Medical Director, NHS 24, said: “Regular reviews by senior clinicians have demonstrated that this new way of working is providing safe and effective patient care.
“We’re very pleased that we’re now helping to bring this service to Dumfries and Galloway, having seen the benefits this approach has been able to deliver in other GP practices in Scotland.”