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Eyemouth Community Council Visit

Wednesday 2 March 2022

 Joint statement from NHS Borders Chief Executive Ralph Roberts and the Partners of Eyemouth Medical Practice

We were pleased to have the opportunity to attend the Eyemouth Community Council meeting on Monday evening, as well as the public meeting on Tuesday in order to listen to the issues raised by those present.

We heard that some people are not content with communication when they are interacting with our teams, or with the availability of appointments. We have committed to act on this feedback and see what improvements can be made. We would like to remind people that if you are unhappy with any aspect of the care you have received from the Practice then the Practice is happy to address your concerns with you; either by speaking directly to the clinician caring for you or by using the complaints handling procedure.

We were pleased to hear the many positive comments made about the care provided by the staff at the practice. However we do recognise the frustrations over the past two years in relation to seeing a GP and accessing primary care services.  These frustrations are not unique to Eyemouth and the surrounding area. The pandemic has changed many things across the entire country, and whilst we hope to return to something resembling normal over the coming months it is important this is done in a way that keeps our patients and staff safe. We are currently waiting for further direction from Scottish Government about what access to Primary Care will look like going forward and can reassure the community that once this is available we will use it to plan how our services operate in the future.

As we move into what we hope will be a sustained period of recovery and remobilisation of health services – including Primary Care – we want to be clear and honest that change will not happen overnight. Patience is going to be important as we move forward because the impact of the past two years is going to take a number of years to deal with. It is important to recognise that even before the Pandemic we were working to improve the sustainability of our Primary Care services. This has included the introduction of new staff such as Advanced Nurse Practitioners, Physiotherapists, Pharmacists and Mental Health practitioners to the Primary Care setting. This allows patients to see the most appropriate clinician for their needs and enables our GPs to support the patients who most need their particular skills and expertise. These developments are taking place across Scotland and are intended to make practices like Eyemouth more sustainable and effective.

We would also like to emphasise that, in the same way that our patients are treated, our staff also deserve to be treated with kindness and respect as we adapt and work together to offer the best services we can.

NHS Borders have offered a further meeting with the Provost and would be happy to attend a future meeting of the Community Council in due course to provide an update on progress made.