A health board has had to take over a Scottish practice where two remaining GPs were left struggling with a patient list of 10,000.
The Kersiebank Medical Practice was left in the unsustainable position after five out of seven GPs based at the practice left over the space of a few months.
The health board is now hoping to directly employ salaried GPs to continue running the practice, based in Grangemouth, despite the practice partners reporting that they have had ‘ongoing difficulties in recruiting replacement GPs’.
A spokesperson at the practice told Pulse that it was ‘taking a multi-disciplinary approach with nurse practitioners and locums’ to treat patients in the meantime.
In a statement on its website, the practice says: ‘Due to the ongoing difficulties in recruiting replacement GPs, it has been agreed that NHS Forth Valley will take over temporary responsibility for running Kersiebank Medical Practice from 1 May 2015.
‘Work is also underway to recruit a team of salaried GPs, employed by the health board, who would be able to provide support to Kersiebank Medical Practice and a number of other local practices in Forth Valley which are experiencing similar difficulties in recruiting permanent staff.’
But Scottish GPC chair Dr Alan McDevitt said the situation in Grangemouth is becoming ‘increasingly common’ everywhere across Scotland apart from Glasgow where younger locums tended to base themselves.
It comes as Pulse revealed that Dr McDevitt has the support of the Scottish Government for plans to overhaul general practice provision in Scotland to a near-salaried model that would reduce workload.
Meanwhile in England, a hospital trust stepped in last week to take over the running of three branches of a multi-site practice with 27,000 patients that had been struggling with long-term recruitment problems.