Future of new GP practice outlined

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A GP involved in the merger of the Academy Medical Centre and the Ravenswood Surgery in Forfar has outlined the way forward for the new facility following patient feedback.

Dr Nico Grunenberg, who is based at Ravenswood, thanked everyone who has taken part in the public survey and said that definite opinions have been expressed.

He said: “Feedback so far has confirmed that what patients value most is access to a healthcare professional when they require it urgently and continuity of care, particularly when they have long term conditions or an ongoing acute illness.

“We hope to develop small teams within the new practice consisting of key healthcare staff, including GPs and nurses, which will allow patients to have a limited number of professionals involved in their care. This should provide suitable access as well as continuity of care to be delivered with a patient-centred focus.

“We would appreciate any thoughts patients have regarding any other professionals that could be included in these teams to improve care now or in the future.

“Our patients tell us that they want to manage their own health and we are keen to work with patients as active partners in their care and we hope the relationships formed in the small teams will support that to happen.”

Regarding access to services, Dr Grunenberg said that to support access to care, the intention is to alter the way patients access services in the practice.

He continued: “In future, when a patient calls the surgery, they will talk to one of their team to discuss their needs. In the event that a suitable person is not available to talk to the patient, a return call would be made within an agreed time period.

“This approach should allow us to manage some issues by phone, but more importantly, allows us to plan visits, allocate appropriate time for appointments and reduce unnecessary trips to the surgery.”

The new practice will be based on the site of the Academy Medical Centre on Academy Street and the search is currently on to find a name for the facility.

Maxine Jones, project manager, said: “We have received several name suggestions from our patients and there’s still time for more to be submitted. Members of the Patient Participation Group will consider all suggestions and prepare a short list which will be published in the Forfar Dispatch and Kirriemuir Herald early in March, with the public invited to vote for the winner in person or by emailing or writing to the surgeries.

Suggestion can be submitted in writing to either practice or by e-mailing forfarmerger.tayside@nhs.net, including name and telephone number by February 22. Comments or suggestions about the merger can be sent to forfarmerger.tayside@nhs.net.