Patient views sought on service merger

Academy SMedical Centre.
Academy SMedical Centre.

Health provision in Forfar is about to undergo a radical shake-up with the announcement that services offered by two of the town’s three medical practices are to merge.

Academy Medical Centre and Ravenswood Surgery in Forfar are inviting people registered with both practices to help influence the way in which services will be delivered in future.

The two practices, which have over 14,000 of the local population registered with them, want to develop more sustainable ways of working that will allow them to meet local need.

Over the next six months they are asking patients to help them review current services with a view to agreeing the way services will be delivered.

Dr Andrew Thomson of Academy Medical Centre said: “People registered with Academy Medical Centre know that, despite having made many improvements over recent years, it remains challenging to ensure people get the right care, from the right person at the right time.

“Our patients also tell us they want to play a bigger role in managing their own health but often don’t have access to the information and support to make that possible. We have made progress with this with the support of our incredible Patient Participation Group, but there is still a lot to do.

“Although we have ideas about what we might do, we realise the experts are our patients so we want to listen to what they need from their local practice.

“The evidence tells us we could deliver improvements to primary care services in the Forfar area if we could redesign our models of care. We want to start a discussion with the local community about how we can do this and where services would best be delivered from.

“We are working very closely with our GP colleagues at Ravenswood to see if we can deliver a joint solution. We feel that joining our practices together will ensure we can provide the best possible care in the heart of the Forfar community now and for the future.”
Dr Nico Grunenberg of Ravenswood Surgery added: “At Ravenswood Surgery we have tried hard to deliver a high quality of service to our registered population, but it is becoming increasingly more difficult as the practice population grows.

“The premises we deliver services from add to our challenges and are really not fit for purpose in the longer term.

“We are really looking forward to working with our colleagues at Academy Medical Centre, our patients and the wider healthcare team to agree a better service model for the future, not only to improve the quality of care, but also to ensure services are sustainable in the longer term.”

The development is supported by the Scottish Government and NHS Tayside.

Dr Michelle Watts, Associate Medical Director for NHS Tayside, said: “We are really keen to support primary care services to ensure we can continue to evolve to meet the ever-changing needs of our local populations. The work being undertaken by the practices and their patients over the next six months to outline a future model for general practice will no doubt inform and influence the future of general practice nationally.”

Comments should be made to the practice managers for either surgery.