Lewis Macdonald MSP, Convenor of the Scottish Parliament's Health and Sport Committee, writes for us on their new primary care inquiry.
The Health and Sport Committee are undertaking a major new inquiry into the future of primary care in Scotland (this link will take you away from our website).
Primary care is often our first point of contact with the NHS, whether that’s GPs in the local surgery, community nurses or midwives, physiotherapists or occupational therapists, dentists, opticians or pharmacists.
In recent years there has been increased pressure on primary care. Driven by patients’ changing needs, technological advancements, as well as cost and staffing pressures, there is now a need to consider the way primary care is organised and delivered. There is also a determination that people spend less time in hospital, and that more tailored care is delivered in the community by the most appropriate professionals.
Our inquiry calls on people to outline their hopes for the next generation of primary care, using a specially designed survey (this link will take you away from our website). The survey is looking for views on issues such as the key challenges to accessing services, whether the current system is sustainable and how well people understand why the Government thinks changes are needed in primary care.
The Committee wants to add to a nationwide debate that has already started, into what that care should look like and how it should be accessed and delivered. Regardless of whether people have used these services or not, we want your views.
We want to hear from people of all ages and backgrounds, and we are particularly keen to hear from young people, people with complex care needs, , and people living in remote and rural areas of Scotland.
The views collected will help shape the next phase of the inquiry, alongside some focused work with groups of individuals who will be selected to be as representative of the population as far as is possible. During the second phase the views and insights gathered from the survey and public panels will shape what the Committee will ask those responsible for designing and delivering services how they can deliver care in the way people want it.
The survey can be accessed here (this link will take you away from our website).
Anybody unable to complete the survey online can call and Parliament staff will ask you the survey questions and fill it in for you. You can call Public Information on 0800 092 7500 or 0131 348 5000. (The service is available 9am-5pm, Monday to Friday). Calls are also welcome through the Text Relay service and in British Sign Language through contactSCOTLAND-BSL (this link will take you away from our website).
The deadline for completion is 30 April 2019 and I encourage everybody to give us their views.