New hope for health and customer care

Muiredge Surgery, Merlin Court, Buckhaven
Muiredge Surgery, Merlin Court, Buckhaven

HEALTH professionals in Buckhaven are honouring a long-standing commitment to better services.

A practice at Muiredge Surgery, led by Dr Swapan Mukherjee, is driving forward a pilot scheme involving an integrated team approach to patient treatment – with more direct input from patients themselves.

The scheme will last initially for six months and medical chiefs hope it will radically improve access to health services, as well as the outlook for patients.

There will be a meeting at 6pm on June 14 in Buckhaven Community Centre, outlining the project’s aims and answering questions, with anyone registered at the Muiredge practice welcome to attend.

The approach was inspired by an acclaimed set-up in Alaska, which health experts from Fife have seen at first hand.

Dr Mukherjee believed that, with adaptations to suit local culture and demographics, it could work here.

At his surgery, a section of around 1400 patients, or `customers’, as they’ll be known, will be supported by an integrated team composed of a care manager, a practice nurse, practice assistant and GP, with hopes that a health psychologist will also join the team.

It is hoped to address all the patient health issues at one appointment, with same-day contact offered where possible.

“I can see this working and making a huge difference to the way we manage the service here,” said Dr Mukherjee.

Muiredge has received backing from the Scottish Government, and Kirkcaldy and Levenmouth Community Health Partnership.

Doctors around the country have struggled with an increasing workload caused by changing patterns of illness, rising expectations and the transfer of work from the hospital sector to the community, resulting in a lot pressure to meet needs – and frustration on all sides.

The Buckhaven team, said Dr Mukherjee, hoped for quick, positive results and that time could be used more appropriately for health care, hopefully solving the problems.