Last week Midlothian North and Musselburgh MSP, Colin Beattie, met with the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport following overwhelming public concern regarding the serious lack of appointments to see a doctor and the poor level of service offered by Riverside Medical Practice, which has been strongly condemned by the MSP.
A spokesperson from the Medical Practice has indicated that improvements in the way patients are being cared for in Musselburgh are in the process of being made.
Early evaluation of the way services are now being delivered since the launch of the Collaborative Working for Immediate Care service, which is run by East Lothian Health and Social Care Partnership, and the merged Eskbridge and Riverside Medical Practices, demonstrates that patients, who previously would have seen a GP, are now seeing the right clinician at the right time for their specific needs.
The new service developed in partnership by the Riverside Medical Practice, NHS 24 and the East Lothian Health and Social Care Partnership (ELHSCP) ensure that urgent care is dealt with on the same day and patients should have no anxieties about being seen by the right professional at the right time.
Through this new way of delivering patient care, it not only provides an increase in the number of patient appointments with Practice GPs and other healthcare professionals, but also an increase in appointment length for patients with complex needs. A recent survey conducted within the practice demonstrates that more than half of patients agree that they do not always need to see a GP.
Work is also underway by the ELHSCP to implement a new telephone and IT system that will support call demand into the Practice.
Patient involvement in getting services right is very important and this is very much recognised by the Riverside Medical Practice who are encouraging local residents to get involved with their Patient Participation Group.
Speaking after meeting with the Cabinet Secretary, Colin Beattie said:
“I would like to assure all of my constituents that patient care is of paramount importance and that all agencies involved in the new way services are being delivered within the Musselburgh Primary Care Centre are focused on delivering the best care possible.
Riverside Medical Practice is working with other organisations to ensure that improvements are made and I would encourage anyone with any issues regarding the Practice to get in touch with them and become involved with the patient participation group.
I am hopeful that the improvements being made by the organisations will be seen by patients and a vastly improved service will be delivered. I will continue to closely monitor the future performance of the practice and ask patients to keep me advised on whether the improvements are working."