Update on plans for Dr Stirling & Partners Medical Practice, Alloa
In Feb 2018, NHS Forth Valley announced that it would take over responsibility for running Dr Stirling & Partners Medical Practice following confirmation that the majority of the existing GPs planned to leave or retire in the next few months.
This decision will ensure that the Practice, which will be renamed Hallpark Medical Practice from I May 2018, remains open and continues to provide GP and community nursing services to local people.
Over the last few weeks, NHS Forth Valley has been taking forward plans to recruit GPs and other healthcare staff to work at the Practice. This work is progressing well and a number of staff have now been recruited and other posts are in the process of being advertised.
This includes a new permanent full-time GP who will work at the Practice from Ist May 2018. Two other GPs currently employed by the Health Board will be redeployed to work at the Practice on a part-time basis. In addition, Dr Stirling will stay on for an additional two months until the end of June 2018.
Mental health nursing and pharmacy support has been secured for the Practice and there are also plans to recruit a number of additional healthcare professionals, including Advanced Nurse Practitioners and Community Paramedics, to increase access to a wider range of services and support. This will also help free up GPs to manage patients with more complex health issues who require medical assessment or treatment. Similar multidisciplinary teams have been introduced in two other GP practices managed by NHS Forth Valley and these have been well received by local patients. All nursing, administrative and reception staff currently employed by Dr Stirling & Partners will transfer to work for NHS Forth Valley and continue to work at the Practice.
NHS Forth Valley plans to advertise Dr Stirling & Partners as a vacant Practice to enable a group of GPs interested in forming a new partnership take over its management in the future.
In the meantime, NHS Forth Valley is reviewing the current Practice list and catchment area to match it to the staffing resources available. Around 8,500 patients are currently registered with the Practice and the majority are expected to remain. However, there are plans to transfer a number of local patients to the two other Alloa GP practices based in Clackmannanshire Community Healthcare Centre. Arrangements are also being made to transfer a number of patients who live out-with Alloa to other GP practices nearer to their homes which have indicated they have capacity to register additional patients.
These changes will ensure the practice list is a size which can be managed by the new workforce currently being recruited and is also likely to be more attractive to GPs who may be interested in taking over the running of the Practice in the future.
In addition, NHS Forth Valley is working with the two Alloa GP practices to review their current catchment areas and identify patients who could be re-registered with another practice which is actually closer to their home address.
Dr Stuart Cumming, Associate Medical Director for Primary Care in NHS Forth Valley, said: “We have been working very hard to put in place a new workforce for the Practice and have managed to successfully recruit and redeploy a number of GPs and other healthcare professionals. This is significant progress given the current difficulties in recruiting GPs across the UK. As a result, we anticipate that the Practice will be able to continue to provide GP and primary care services to the majority of its existing patients.
“We are in the process of contacting a number of patients who live out out-with the Alloa area and making arrangements for them to be re-registered with another GP Practice closer to their home. This will ensure that there is no gap in anyone having access to GP and primary care services. We will also be providing additional support to local practices across Clackmannanshire to help them manage any additional patients they register.
“I’d like to thank all the staff based at Dr Stirling & Partners, along with colleagues in the neighbouring GP practices, for all their help and support in taking forward these changes.”