A pilot scheme has been launched in Forth Valley to help frail, elderly patients and those with complex health problems avoid being admitted to hospital.
Three GP fellows will provide medical support and advice to the local multi-disciplinary enhanced community team, initially in Bo’ness, Grangemouth and the Braes areas.
They will also work closely with Bo’ness Community Hospital, GP practices and the clinical staff at Forth Valley Royal Hospital.
Dr Paul Treon, NHS Forth Valley GP fellow, said: “Ensuring older patients have access to services and support will enable them to remain at home rather than having to be admitted to hospital.
“This is really important as some older people lose their confidence after a stay in hospital and find it difficult to return to living independently in their own homes.”
The pilot project will focus on patients from 10 GP practices and is part of a wider heath and social care strategy to deliver improved care in the community. If successful, it is hoped it will be rolled out to other local areas.
Tracey Gillies, medical director of NHS Forth Valley said: “The number of people aged over 75 in Forth Valley is set to almost double in the next 20 years so it’s really important that we look at new ways of supporting older people in the community.
“This new pilot is an excellent example of multi-disciplinary working and will give our GP fellows a chance to make use of the experience they have gained.”