Staffing issues at Brechin Health Centre continue to improve with the appointment of a new GP and a continuing nationwide recruitment drive.
In the latest Brechin Health Services Community Update issued yesterday, Dr Michelle Watts, NHS Tayside Associate Medical Director said: “I am pleased to report that the GP staffing situation in Brechin is continuing to improve after a challenging period over the summer months.
“Dr Penny Lockwood will be joining the practice in October and Dr Steve Pegg will continue to work in Brechin until April 2017.
“We are continuing our national recruitment drive with the aim of attracting more permanent GPs, but until then we are well supported by our regular locums.
“I would like to reassure patients that GP and Nurse Practitioner appointments are available for those who need to be seen, but we do ask if people can phone the health centre first on 01356 624411 so we can manage appointments more effectively.
“Advanced Nurse Practitioners (ANPs) are experienced registered nurses who have completed a number of post qualification training courses to enable them to work independently. They can assess, diagnose and treat many conditions, issuing prescriptions where required.
“There are currently two ANPs working in the practice with additional support provided by the ANPs who work within the Medicine for the Elderly service.
“We aim to have ANPs working within the practice team and a new ANP, Nigel Clubb, will join the practice this month. Interviews are being held later this month for the final post with high levels of interest shown in the vacancy.
“The new system appears to be working well and many people have found they have been able to have their problem dealt with on the phone, saving a trip to the surgery. Over the coming weeks, we will make small adjustments which will make it easier to make return appointments where they are needed.
“If you feel you need to see a healthcare professional, please phone the health centre and the practice team will help you.”
NHS Tayside is committed to providing healthcare services from the current health centre and is investing in improvements to the building and its infrastructure.
A new telephone system has been purchased and will be installed over coming weeks and the patient waiting area has been refurbished and painted.
A new entrance has been created to the Minor Illness and Injuries Unit (MIIU) with a ramp giving easy access for all. The pathway to the health centre will be smoothed and hand rails fitted and further decoration to the inside of the centre will continue.
The Minor Illness and Injuries Unit, which is operating from Brechin Health Centre until November, is able to treat a wide range of minor injuries and arrange x-rays for suspected broken bones (open daily from 9am to 4.30pm).
If you think you need to see a GP when your practice is closed, call NHS24 free for advice on 111.
For general health information, visit NHS Inform www.nhsinform.co.uk or phone 0800 22 44 88 to speak to a health advisor (8am - 10pm everyday).