Cure found at last for Lanark Doctors’ ills?

Lanark Doctors: An end soon to the problems?
Lanark Doctors: An end soon to the problems?

On Friday a ‘crunch’ meeting was held in Lanark to try to finally find a solution to the town’s long-running doctor appointments row.

Lanark Doctors practice members got around the table with Clydesdale’s MSP Aileen Campbell, her South of Scotland counterpart Claudia Beamish MSP and the area’s three South Lanarkshire Council members to discuss a new system which, it is hoped, will mean an end of weeks of delay for Lanarkians in simply getting to see one of their GPs.

Better days ahead were promised after Friday’s meeting with a joint statement from those taking part being issued.

It said: “Everyone in attendance agreed it was a very helpful and constructive meeting. There was a strong focus on ensuring the best long-term outcome for patients.

“The doctors gave a very positive update on plans to introduce a new approach to the appointment system following a review of the current system and listening to patient feedback. The new system will ensure that patients are able speak to a GP when they call the practice. Doctors will be available on the phone for a period during both the morning and afternoon to minimise queues – and a duty GP will be available at other times for emergencies.

“GPs will be able to provide advice over the phone or arrange for patients to be seen in person by a GP, if appropriate, or directed to the most appropriate service the same day.

“This approach to meeting patient’s needs has been successfully introduced in other practices.

“The practice hopes to introduce the new system around the end of June and all agreed to work together to ensure patients were kept well informed about the changes in the coming months

“There was recognition from all that despite the current challenges, the doctors are doing good work and there was a great deal of positive feedback about the care provided by the practice.

“It was agreed that everyone present at the meeting would work with each other and with patients to help the successful introduction of the new system, which will be reviewed and monitored regularly to ensure its effectiveness.”