NHS Fife is working to help crack the shortage of GPs across the kingdom.
As in many other parts of the country, some practices have experienced difficulty in recruiting permanent GPs due to a shortage of available practitioners.
Medical practices are ultimately responsible for their own recruitment, but NHS Fife said it was actively working alongside affected practices to mitigate the problem and a number of measures have been implemented over recent months to limit any impact on patient care.
NHS Fife medical director, Dr Frances Elliot, said: “NHS Fife recognises the pressures that general practice is facing and we are committed to working with local practices to find solutions to the workforce shortages being experienced in Fife and across the rest of the UK.
“As a board, we are looking at a range of options to best support practices and ensure that Fife patients continue to receive the best possible standards of care. This will look at adapting the skill mix within practices to enable the recruitment of clinical pharmacists, advanced nurse practitioners and other health and social care professionals to support the existing teams.”
She added that the board will be working closely with GPs through the newly-established health and social care partnership, to ensure that strengthening primary care services forms a key part of the integration.
While the challenges in GP recruitment remain, there have been a considerable number of successes in Fife in recent months, with practices in Auchtermuchty, Cowdenbeath and Newburgh among others, appointing permanent GPs to their teams.
Photo by George McLuskie