Primary Care Development

NHS Ayrshire & Arran is responsible for making sure the people of Ayrshire and Arran receive community and primary care health services from:

  • almost 300 General Medical Practitioners and their practice teams providing a full range of general medical services across 90 sites, stretching from Ballantrae in the south to Wemyss Bay in the north, and including 10 sites across Arran and Cumbrae;
  • more than 160 general dental practitioners providing NHS dental services at more than 70 sites, including Arran;
  • more than 90 community pharmacies providing a range of pharmaceutical services, including minor ailment services and public health services, across Ayrshire and Arran; and
  • 60 optometry practices providing services ranging from NHS eye tests to diabetic retinopathy screening and cataract follow-up across mainland Ayrshire, Arran and Cumbrae, with seven practices providing care in people's homes.

The Managed Dental Service also offers accessible dental care to local residents who have not yet registered with a General Dental Practitioner or who require more care, time and support to benefit from dental treatments.

These services are offered from Access Centres at Ayrshire Central Hospital in Irvine, Miller Road Clinic in Ayr and North West Kilmarnock Area Centre, as well as from a range of community-based facilities across the mainland and from two facilities on Arran. The service's portable dental surgeries can be used in schools or taken to areas where the local population have no access to dental services. This was most recently used in response to a request from the local community on Cumbrae.

While these are the people who provide core primary care services, many more people are involved in providing care in our local communities, including practice nurses, community nurses, health visitors and Allied Health Professions such as physiotherapists, occupational therapists and podiatrists. Other, more specialist services are also based in the community, such as our Primary Care Mental Health Teams and midwifery services. Looking ahead, services like diagnostics (scans, x-rays and so on) and rehabilitation could also be community-based.

The Allied Health Professions provide services to people in hospitals and local communities and to those with a mental illness or learning disability, whether they are living in their own community or in a hospital environment.

The hospital services provided within the community are for the mentally ill, the elderly - both frail and with mental health problems - and people with a learning disability. GP acute services are provided at hospitals on Arran and Millport, Girvan and East Ayrshire Community Hospital in Cumnock.

Other services provided in the community include Child and Adolescent Mental Health services, psychology and sexual health services and the out-of-hours general medical service, NHS Ayrshire Doctors on Call.

Protected Learning Time

On these dates, the GP and Community Nursing Services within Ayrshire will close at 12.30pm and will be covered by the out-of- hours emergency service.  If patients have a problem and require urgent medical or nursing care during these afternoons then they should phone their Doctor's Surgery/Health Centre as normal and they will be told how to access the service they require.