7 September 2015
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon visited Wester Hailes Healthy Living Centre to meet the team at the centre of making their community healthier.
The team in Wester Hailes is part of a group of seven GPs across Edinburgh working together. They have also linked up with other healthcare providers to work more closely with the local community and tackle the underlying causes of health inequality – such as substance abuse, mental health issues, employability and social isolation
— First Minister (@ScotGovFM) September 7, 2015
In the Programme for Government last week, the First Minister announced that the role of general practice in our health service is set for a significant shakeup.
Over the next two years, ten health centres across the country will form ‘community care teams’ and test different ways of delivering healthcare including:
- Local surgeries working together for faster appointments
- GPs and health professionals – such as physiotherapists – working together in multidisciplinary teams so that patients see the right professional quickly
- Local centres providing treatments which patients currently have to travel to hospital to receive – including short stay in-patient beds for assessment and treatment.
Two of the test sites will trial a new type of doctor to head up the multidisciplinary teams – and a small number of GPs will have the opportunity to receive an additional year of training to give them the skills to take on the new role and work across primary and acute care. Nurses and other health professionals will also have the chance to develop new skills as part of the plans.
The First Minister said:
“People deserve the very best treatment at the right time and in the right place – and that’s as close to home as possible.
“We have already taken steps to integrate health and social care and now transforming our GP services and local health centres is the next step. That means you will see the professional who can best help you and, in some cases, your local GP will soon offer the type of treatments that previously only hospitals could deliver.
“I can confirm that ten test sites will run over the next two years so we can see the most effective way to introduce these new ways of delivering community based healthcare across Scotland.
“Nobody wants to go into hospital if they don’t have to and with these new plans, people will see a better service and be able to be treated in the local community.
“This is good for patients and good for the NHS – GPs in particular will see their role develop in a significant way.”