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NHS Forth Valley adds 80 new healthcare professionals in bid to plug GP shortages

NHS Forth Valley have recruited 80 new specialist health professionals to work alongside local doctors.

It’s hoped the recruits, which include mental health nurses, pharmacists and physiotherapists, will help plug gaps caused by GP shortages.

Around one in four GP posts in Scotland are currently vacant.

Lesley Middlemiss, Programme Manager for Primary Care Transformation across Forth Valley, said: “This is a really good news story. The key issue for people is that there will be a broader range of expertise available at their local GP practice, helping with both diagnosis and the management of a wide range of conditions, medicine reviews and urgent appointments for new and existing illnesses.

“It’s a really positive move towards greater team working. This is not about replacing GPs, who remain at the heart of primary care, but easing pressure and making sure that patients get the best help where they need it most.”

NHS Forth Valley’s Associate Medical Director, Dr Stuart Cumming, added: “It’s important to acknowledge the hugely valuable work that our GPs do but also to recognise that many health issues can be managed using the skills of other professionals working alongside our existing Practice teams. Developing larger and more diverse primary care teams will help provide the best possible care for local patients and I’m pleased that the initial response to our recruitment drive has been very encouraging.”

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