MERGING GP practices and the future of the cottage hospital will be key topics when a review of Moffat’s health and social care services begins on Monday.
The review will look at how services need to change to meet the needs of the growing and scattered popuation of upper Annandale.
A document outlining some of the initial ideas for positive change will be made public next week so locals can learn about the need for change and be given the chance to have their say, as well as offering their own suggestions.
Gary Sheehan, who is the locality manager for Health and Social Care in Annandale and Eskdale, said: “The way services are provided must be modernised to ensure the most appropriate support and care is available when people really need it.”
He added: “We have to be aware, however, that new models of care may result in a change of use of current community facilities and assets, including our cottage hospitals and GP practices.
“Having significant funds tied up in buildings means less money to invest in community services which would benefit a higher number of local people. I can assure people that any service changes will focus on providing more person centred care, more effective use of local resources and assets and take account of the fact that current service provision is not sustainable or fit for the future.
“This is only the beginning of the process and people will have lots of opportunities to be involved in developing and co-producing services that are fit for the future.”
Explaining more about the need for change, Mr Sheehan emphasised a nationwide call for improvement to meet the future needs of the population.
He said: “By far the biggest challenge is how to provide care to scattered communities with fewer people of working age and a high percentage who are 75 or over.
“On top of this, there are general challenges around recruitment and careful forward planning is required to ensure high quality, safe, community based services can be continued to be delivered in the future.”