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The waiting game

4,000-patient practice closure to exacerbate pressure in city

Both partners of a 4,000-patient Edinburgh practice have announced their decision to retire this summer, leaving health bosses scrambling to find alternative arrangements.

The Edinburgh Health and Social Care Board said the partners at Inverleith Medical Practice will be resigning from their NHS contract due to personal circumstances.

It comes as figures suggest almost one in four surgeries in the NHS Lothian region have had to place limits on new patients because of staff shortages and workload pressures.

Pulse reported last year that 39 of 124 practices in the region are full and have put strict limits on accepting new patients, with fears this could rise to 50% of practices soon.

Rob McCulloch-Graham, Joint Director of Edinburgh Health and Social Care Partnership, said work is ongoing to ensure surgery patients continue to get ‘safe, effective and timely care’.

‘A range of options for future GP care in the area are being considered and Edinburgh Health and Social Care Partnership and NHS Lothian, will be supporting the practice team to help reassure patients during this period,’ he said.

BMA Scotland has said one in three GPs are considering retirement in the next five years.

Dr Andrew Buist, Deputy Chair of the BMA’s Scottish GP Committee, said: ’It is clear that practices are under immense pressure. GPs are overworked and intensely frustrated that they do not have enough time to spend with their patients. It is important that NHS Lothian acts quickly to minimise disruption to patient care.

’We need the government to focus on addressing the pressures facing GP services, so that we retain the current GP workforce and attract young doctors to become GPs.

’It is essential that the Scottish Government makes sure that financial resources are committed to directly supporting general practice otherwise we could soon be in a situation where we do not have enough GPs to deliver effective care to patients.’


Readers' comments (7)

  • Bound to be profits in the business
    Get some salaried gps or nurses
    Don't close . Here in the south we encourage cheap labour to cover trained gps ....nurses are great
    Partners earn lots more that way

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  • ?

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  • And what if we up here don't think much of what you do 'here in the south'?
    (assuming you are acting as a spokesperson for 'those in the south')

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  • Council of Despair

    it will be fine ...

    - practices open and close all the time
    - allows working at scale
    - patients can register elsewhere
    - 5YF will save us
    - innovation will save us
    - resilience will save us
    - make use of alternative staff
    - move to 12hr seven day working will
    increase capacity
    - NHSE cautiously optimistic that everything ok, they even have money unspent fpr struggling practices !
    - GPs are important members of NHS and work very hard
    - We are getting more than Simon Stevens asked for

    it will all be ok ...

    soon May and Hunt will want us to build a wall, a big magnificent wall ...

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  • Knowledge is Porridge

    You've solved the funding dilemma. Mexico can pay for the NHS!
    Having said that, a bit of political decisiveness would be welcome: Block litigation as condition of NHS treatment.

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  • Spuds

    @Angus P

    Humour failure, much?

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  • Possibly Spuds, but it was hard to detect irony or humour in the initial poster's comment.

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