THE early stages of a new Fife-first pilot project in Levenmouth, to transform primary health care, has won plaudits for its “slick” operation.
A practice at Muiredge surgery in Buckhaven is adopting a scheme based on methods from Alaska, in which patients are defined as “customer owners” and their health care supplied by an integrated medical team.
Around 1400 registered patients at Merlin Court have been randomly channelled into the project, led by Dr Swapan Mukherjee’s surgery.
And customer feedback has been extremely good so far, in terms of smoother appointments and better relations built between staff and patients/customers.
The six-month pilot scheme was intended to shake up the appointment system and allow people access to proper medical care when needed, as well as relieving pressure on staff.
Cases are managed by forming relationships between patients/customers and the health care providers, with patients making their own choices over health and wellbeing.
Practice manager at Muiredge Maxine Jones said the whole process was now “very slick”.
Working as a team was of tremendous benefit to the health professionals, she said, while many customers were finding appointments and telephone access easier.
More direct contact meant fewer journeys, while prescriptions were easier to obtain.
Sme patients did still have issues with the appointment structure, admitted Mrs Jones – while around 70 from the random panel had wanted to leave the project immediately, as they had established relations with some of the other Muiredge doctors.
However, they were replaced by others, which opened the scheme up even further, and the process was continuing to work very well.
The surgery hoped soon to produce some definitive data, said Mrs Jones – while a new member would soon be joining the team.
In addition to Dr Mukherjee as GP, case manager Jackie Redfern, practice nurse Kerry MacDonald and project administrator Nikki Bishop, behavioural health consultant Hannah Dale would shortly be on board, as the project focused more on customer wellbeing.