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All change in primary care

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NEXT time you visit your GP you could find yourself being seen by a paramedic, pharmacist or mental health nurse instead.

This group of professionals have been given a key part to play in the transformation of the region’s primary care services and are taking on new responsibilities locally. And it’s as a result of the new national contract for GPs.

Explaining more, deputy medical director for the Health and Social Care Partnership Dr Grecy Bell said: “We have just three years in which to implement a contract which moves responsibilities for delivering services such as blood tests, repeat prescriptions and dealing with minor ailments to Dumfries and Galloway Health and Social Care Partnership.

“New models of care have now been developed in association with paramedics in the Scottish Ambulance Service, with pharmacists, and with our mental health teams, and we’re now seeing these new approaches starting to be rolled out within the region.”

Key changes will see clinical pharmacists meeting patients at GP surgeries to provide expert consultation around medications; some home visiting support carried out by paramedics instead of doctors; and mental health nurses will become a regular feature in practices, delivering support and servings as a means of early help and intervention. Dr Bell added: “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. We’re going to be constantly assessing this work as it moves forward, and would be grateful for feedback from the public as we seek to develop a robust, sustainable model for primary care in Dumfries and Galloway.”

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