Latest step in £600 million winter resilience plan.
Scots are being urged to play their part to ease pressure on the NHS this winter as an awareness campaign is launched today (2 November).
Targeted advertising on TV, radio and online will encourage people to get the right care in the right place – diverting them away from busy A&E wards where appropriate.
It will make clear that – if a condition is not life-threatening – people can visit their local pharmacy, dial NHS 24 on 111, or contact their GP. It will also signpost people to the NHS Inform website which provides practical self-help guides.
Pandemic backlogs, Brexit-driven staff shortages and inflation costs have all contributed to make this the most challenging winter the NHS has ever faced. This advertising campaign is the latest step in the £600 million winter resilience plan which is already recruiting an extra 1,000 extra staff, vaccinating the public from COVID-19 and the flu, and prioritising care for the most vulnerable.
Health Secretary Humza Yousaf visited Edinburgh’s Bangholm Medical Centre to hear experiences of how multi-disciplinary teams are already embracing the approach. He said:
“I am under no illusion that this winter will be the toughest in the history of our great NHS, which is why I am pulling every lever at my disposal to help ease pressure where possible.
“This campaign will make it easier than ever to know where to go to get the right care in the right place – saving patients time and freeing up space in our emergency departments.
“It is the latest step in our £600 million resilience plan to support our NHS through the tough winter ahead, which will recruit 1,000 extra staff, vaccinate the public from COVID-19 and flu, and prioritise care for the most vulnerable.”
Peju Adeyemo, Physician Associate, at Bangholm Medical Centre said:
“Physician associates are healthcare professionals with a generalist medical education, who work alongside doctors providing medical care as an integral part of the multidisciplinary team. We are able to alleviate pressure on GPs because we can see a broad spectrum of patients, provide holistic care and follow up. Furthermore, we are able to see more acute patients thereby freeing up time for GPs to see more chronic conditions where 15 minutes appointments may not be suitable. “
A multi-disciplinary team (MDT) is a group of health and care staff who are members of different organisations and professions (e.g. GPs, nurses, and pharmacists), that work together to make decisions regarding the treatment of individual patients and service users.
Since 2018, 3,220 whole time equivalent (WTE) healthcare professionals have been recruited into multi-disciplinary teams supporting GPs and practices in Scotland. That includes 793 WTE recruited in 2021-22, a record year for MDT recruitment.
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