There are some important changes happening at the Strachur Medical Practice.
- Dr Tittmar will be moving to Tighnabruaich from April 2012.
- Regular 'cross-cover' day every Thursday - the practice will be covered by the Tighnabruaich doctor on Thursdays.
- More appointments at other times of the week including planned evening surgery.
- Increased Practice Nursing hours.
- Introduction of Doctor Ambulance.
Health Board removes Salaried Doctor funding
Highland Health Board made a significant change to the funding of Strachur Medical Practice when Dr Wright passed away. Highland Health Board removed the funding for a salaried doctor and replaced it with a smaller locum doctor fund. The new funding can only be used for locums, and not for a salaried doctor such as Dr Wright or Dr Tittmar. We had hoped that Dr Tittmar would be able to stay on as a locum at the practice, but he has let us know that he needs the stability of regular employment. We are very disappointed, but we want to wish Dr Tittmar well in his new job.
To make up for the reduction in our budget, we have had to start a regular cross-cover day with one of our neighbours. This is an arrangement that other small practices have (eg: Scouri and Durness in Highland). Tighnabruaich is larger than Strachur and they still have funding for their salaried doctor. They have agreed to cover our patients one day per week.
More appointments at other times
As Thursday will now be a cross-cover day, there will be no routine appointments on a Thursday morning. Instead, there will be more appointments available other days. We are also planning Tuesday evening surgeries for patients that find it hard to come to the practice during working hours.
Practice Nursing hours increased
To make it easier for patients to see the Practice Nurse, we are adding an extra half-day per week of Practice Nursing time. We are also planning a 'phlebotomy' service just for taking blood samples. Kate will be moving her Thursday morning clinic to a Wednesday morning so that she is working at the same time as the doctor.
To make it easier to get patients to hospital in an emergency, Strachur Medical Practice will be getting a doctor car that that will be equipped and insured to carry patients. This will make a big difference when a traditional ambulance is not able to attend quickly enough.
We are planning to hold a public meeting in March to discuss these changes (date to be arranged). If you have any concerns, comments, questions, or suggestions please let us know.