a RURAL medical practice in Carrick has been recognised as the best in the United Kingdom for the service it provides to its disabled patients.
Ballantrae Medical Practice has this week been awarded the national Royal College of General Practitioners Disability Care Award.
The practice was anonymously nominated for the prestigious award which encourages excellence of care to disabled people in a general practice surgery.
It is awarded to a practice or individual GP in recognition of innovative or significant developments in the organisation, accessibility or delivery of care to disabled people.
The award recognised the many ways in which the rural practice, run by Dr Hal Maxwell, Dr Katy Sloan and Dr Bruce Henderson, is disability-friendly.
These included disability equality training for all staff; support for disabled people’s carers; good communication facilities for disabled patients including induction loops and a staff member trained in sign language and a reception area with a lowered desk suitable for people in wheelchairs.
One of the GPs, Dr Hal Maxwell, will receive the award on behalf of the practice at a special ceremony on Friday, May 13.
Dr Maxwell said: “Being a small rural practice we use our knowledge of our patients to provide appropriate facilities.
“We implemented findings from a disabled access report by making changes to our branch surgery.
“Our computer software also allows us to identify which patients may benefit from extra time or particular assistance.”
Jim Crichton, Director of Primary Care and Mental Health Services at NHS Ayrshire & Arran, said: “I would like to pass on our congratulations to all the staff at Ballantrae Medical Practice on winning this award.
“GP surgeries are the first point of contact for most people when they are accessing health services and Ballantrae has gone above and beyond to make their Practice accessible for all.”
The college added that it is grateful to the Leonard Cheshire Disability organisation for its support of the award.
The winner of the award is presented with a commemorative certificate at the RCGP Spring General Meeting.