Surgery aims to heal flawed care process

Dr Swapan Mukherjee
Dr Swapan Mukherjee

AN EXTENSION of Buckhaven’s pioneering medical surgery model next month could be just the tonic for over 7000 local people.

The Muiredge surgery, which has been piloting a new integrated team approach to patient care, is rolling the scheme out across all its GP practices.

The move means all patients registered at Merlin Crescent will have access to it.

They will be able to phone at various times of the day via a new telephone system and talk to a specific medical professional about whatever concerns they may have, as well as being able to see the doctor of their choice if necessary.

The project, inspired by a system from Alaska, has been trialled since June at Dr Swapan Mukherjee’s practice, involving around 1400 patients, and has been so successful that all six Muiredge GPs are taking it forward.

This means around 7200 patients will be set to benefit.

The changes are to be outlined at a community meeting at 6pm on Monday, December 3, in Buckhaven Community Centre.

Dr Mukherjee said staff were aware they’d be dealing with a large volume of enquiries but there was confidence in the way ahead.

The old system was flawed and the new structure would allow better case management and, hopefully, greater satisfaction for patients and staff, he added.

By dealing with patients individually and discussing their needs by phone, a plan of care could be built up and an appointment made, if necesssary. As well as a doctor, the clinical team included a case manager, highly-qualified nurse and administrator.

Another GP, Dr Alasdair Sneddon, said a streamlined service would hopefully avoid duplication and allow the introduction of a process to make things more efficient and deal with health issues in a different and more appropriate way.