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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-17897: Alex Rowley (Mid Scotland and Fife)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 27 July 2018

To ask the Scottish Government, in light of reports that Lochgelly Medical Practice has been unsuccessful in filling vacant posts or recruiting enough locum GPs to ensure that all vacated sessions are provided for, what steps it is taking to ensure that the town has adequate health provision.

Answered by: Jeane Freeman 20 August 2018

NHS Fife are aware of the current GP vacancies within the Lochgelly Medical Centre. Dr Cattanach, who owns the practice regularly attends a short life working group with the Health Board to alert them to any short term support required by the practice. There is currently locum cover in place till November 2018 to cover annual leave over the summer.

The practice will benefit from another Care Home and Advanced Nurse Practitioner (CHANP). This will allow the team of three to extend their support to the Care and Residential Homes with patients of the 3 Lochgelly Practices. Lochgelly pharmacy has agreed to be trained and provide a community pharmacy testing service. NHS Fife are also exploring employing a mental health worker working in a front facing role, triaging and managing patients with a range of milder mental health issues. Patients will also have access to an MSK physiotherapist without the need to see a GP when NHS Fife join the national MSK triage service, supported by NHS 24, early in the autumn.

The new GP contract, backed by investment of £110 million in 2018-19 and jointly developed with the BMA, will help to cut doctors’ workload and make general practice an even more attractive career. As part of the new contract arrangements, the Scottish Government will also invest £2 million in 2018/19 to support initiatives to attract and retain GPs in our rural and remote communities and ensure practices are sustainable.