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New Ways Inverclyde

General Practice is under considerable pressure as a result of increasing workload and workforce shortages. It is recognised that one of the major concerns in the health and social care system is that many GPs are engaged in a significant proportion of tasks/activity that could be more effectively done by others.

The role of the General Practitioner and other professionals in Primary Care in future must be able to make best use of the unique experience and skills of each.

In order to improve outcomes, GPs need to be freed up from activities that do not require GP involvement and other health and social care professionals require to become more accessible.

In September 2015, Inverclyde HSCP was approached to consider the opportunity to work in partnership with NHSGGC, the Scottish Government and BMA to explore new ways of working to inform the development of a new GP contract for Scotland and devise the future role of the GP.

All 16 practices, serving nearly 80,000 people, signed up to the pilot, which has seen them test out new ways of working to see which might be adopted in the longer term and rolled out throughout Inverclyde and across Greater Glasgow and Clyde and the rest of Scotland.

A number of different ways of working were developed:

  • Availability of advanced physiotherapist practitioner reducing the number of patients with musculoskeletal problems being seen by GPs
  • Introduction of drop-in community phlebotomy service
  • Having specialist paramedics available to respond to urgent requests for home visits rather than GPs
  • Piloting an extension of pharmacy led clinics to shift the balance of pharmacy workload from GPs to pharmacists.