General practice staff will be given additional training to develop their skills thanks to a £2.5 million investment from the Scottish Government.
The move is part of plans to develop the skills of the whole practice team, making it easier for patients to access the right person at the right time.
Receptionists and practice managers will be able to access training on signposting patients to the most appropriate source of help or advice. This could be a service available in the practice or elsewhere in the community, such as a community pharmacist or a local optician. Staff will also be up-skilled to allow them to take on more of the administrative tasks currently carried out by GPs.
Additional training will also be made available for general practice nurses, so they are better equipped to meet the needs of patients with multiple health conditions. This is part of the move towards developing enhanced nursing roles within general practice.
Health Secretary Shona Robison said: “We want to reinvigorate general practice and attract more people into the profession. We also want to shift the balance of care into the community, and general practice clearly has a significant role to play.
“By investing in the training of practice staff we can make the whole system more efficient, freeing up time for doctors to spend on their consultations. We can also increase the skills of those practice staff and improve their job satisfaction.”
Dr Alan McDevitt, Chair of the British Medical Association’s Scottish GP Committee, said: “This is a welcome investment that will help towards the continuing development of practice staff. Practice managers, practice nurses, receptionists and health care assistants are all essential to the future of general practice.”