Plans to deliver primary care services in a new way for two patient communities in Kirkcaldy are being progressed.

The three GP partners at Nicol Street Surgery are due to retire after a total of 93 years of combined service to the community.

NHS Fife and Fife Health and Social Care Partnership have been working with Nicol Street Surgery and neighbouring practices to deliver primary care services in a new way for the local patient community. 

This new approach will see the two practices consolidated, with patients currently registered with Nicol Street Surgery forming part of a newly expanded practice at Path House Surgery from 31 July 2023.

The new approach will also see both buildings retained, with plans still being developed on the ways in which Nicol Street Surgery building will continue to be used to deliver patient care. Plans have also been lodged with Fife Council to apply for planning consent to increase space within Path House Surgery to accommodate the additional patients from Nicol Street Surgery.

Lisa Cooper, Head of Primary and Preventative Care, Fife Health and Social Care Partnership, said: “Plans are at an early stage, but they are happening at pace to ensure a seamless transition of services for patients and to minimise potential disruption.

”We’d also like to give an assurance that all the necessary steps are being taken to ensure both sets of patients at Nicol Street Surgery and Path House Surgery have continued and uninterrupted access to local medical services, so they are able to see the right person, at the right time as plans progress.

”We will write to patients in the coming weeks too to keep them updated.”

As well as additional members of experienced administrative and reception staff, Path House Surgery will offer other enhanced services, thanks to a larger multi-disciplinary team.

This will include:

· Additional new GP’s, creating a fully staffed team of nine GP’s,

· A full expanded team of Advance Nurse Practitioners (ANP’s),

· Treatment room nurses and specialist chronic disease nurses,

· Primary care mental health worker support,

· Pharmacy team,

· District nursing team and health visiting team.

The new team will also work alongside the experienced GP’s at Path House Surgery to continue delivering services including contraceptive services, minor surgery, and joint injections.

Dr Alan Stewart, from Path House Surgery explained they are excited to welcome the new patients.

“We have been working hard in the background to ensure a seamless transition for Nicol Street Surgery patients.

“As well as attracting new GPs to increase our staffing levels who will be starting ahead of the transition, we will be delighted to bring the excellent ANP and Admin team from Nicol Street Surgery to Path House so there will be familiar faces from both practices to help to provide continuity of care.

”Our aim is to provide a new model of care with improved access to clinicians for our expanded patient community, this is a huge project, but our hope is from the end of July we will have the beginnings of a new service that fulfils the needs of the community and is sustainable for the future.

“We look forward to continuing to providing our current patient community with the high level of services they expect, as well as welcoming our new patients from Nicol Street Surgery too.”

Ann Ferguson, Practice Manager from Nicol Street Surgery, added: “The three GPs at Nicol Street Surgery have worked in the local community for 34, 31, and 28 years respectively and have tried hard to find a sustainable plan for the future.

“The GPs, and my, aim was to ensure an arrangement was reached that could offer the best outcome for the patients and all of our well trained staff.

“We feel this plan is a really positive way to provide primary care services for the local community in Kirkcaldy and are working closely with Path House Surgery as plans progress.”