The Scots are urged to do their part to relieve pressure on the NHS this winter as an awareness campaign is launched today (November 2).
Targeted advertising on television, radio and the Internet will encourage people to get the right care in the right place – diverting them away from crowded emergency and accident wards when appropriate.
It will explain that – if the condition is not life-threatening – people can visit their local pharmacy, call NHS 24 on 111, or call their GP. It will also direct people to the NHS Inform website which provides practical self-help guides.
The accumulation of epidemics, staff shortages due to Brexit and the costs of inflation have all contributed to making this the most difficult winter the NHS has ever faced. This advertising campaign is the latest step in a £600m winter resilience plan that is already hiring an additional 1,000 staff, vaccinating the public against COVID-19 and influenza, and prioritizing the most vulnerable care.
Health Minister Hamzah Yusuf visited Pangolem Medical Center in Edinburgh to hear experiences on how multidisciplinary teams have already adopted this approach. He said:
“I have no illusions that this winter will be the most difficult in the history of the great NHS, which is why I am pulling every lever at my disposal to help relieve the pressure where possible.
“This campaign will make it easier than ever to know where to go to get the right care in the right place – saving patients time and freeing up space in our emergency departments.
“It is the latest step in our £600m plan to support the NHS through the harsh winter, which will hire an additional 1,000 staff, vaccinate the public against COVID-19 and influenza, and prioritize the most vulnerable care.”
Biju Adeemo, MD, an assistant physician at Pangolem Medical Centre, said:
“Affiliate physicians are healthcare professionals with general medical education, working alongside physicians who provide medical care as an integral part of a multidisciplinary team. We are able to relieve pressure on GPs because we can see a broad spectrum of patients, and provide care Comprehensive follow-up. Furthermore, we are able to see more acute patients, thus freeing GPs time to see more chronic cases where 15-minute appointments may not be appropriate.”
A multidisciplinary team (MDT) is a group of health and care personnel who are members of different organizations and professions (such as doctors, nurses, and pharmacists), who work together to make decisions about the treatment of individual patients and service users.
Since 2018, 3,220 full-time equivalent (WTE) healthcare professionals have been assigned to multidisciplinary teams to support clinicians and practices in Scotland. This includes 793 WTE recruited in 2021-22, which is a standard year for MDT recruitment.