A GP practice in Scotland has announced it will terminate its contract with the NHS due to ‘a national shortage of GPs.’
Patients at Invergowrie Medical Centre in Dundee were told the practice is set to shut permanently in June in letter from NHS Tayside, which said the practice would remain ‘fully operational’ until its closure.
The letter said there would be no need for registered patients to take any action at this time and that NHS Tayside’s main priority is ‘to ensure that patients who are currently registered at Invergowrie Medical Centre have continued access to GP and primary care services.’
It comes as new research by the RCGP showed a third of all Scottish GP staff said their practice was at risk of closing in the next few months.
A spokesperson for NHS Tayside told Pulse: ‘As with many practices across Scotland, Invergowrie Medical Centre has been affected by the national shortage of GPs.
‘We have written to patients at Invergowrie Medical Centre to advise that the practice has given notice to terminate its contract with NHS Tayside.
‘Patients should be reassured that the practice will continue to be fully operational up until Friday, 16 June with the GP continuing to practice from Invergowrie Medical Centre.’
They added that they are working on arrangements for when the practice closes.
Meanwhile, an RCGP survey of members – open to all practice staff, in field from December last year to last month – found that 31.7% of the 181 general practice staff Scottish respondents said their practice was at risk of closing over the next few months.
According to the research, GPs have identified unmanageable workload, GP partners leaving the profession and a shortage of salaried GPs as the main reasons for potential practice closures.
Edinburgh GP Dr Catriona Morton, deputy chair of RCGP Scotland, told Scotland on Sunday that demographic change has led to ‘demand outstripping supply’ with an increasing population putting immense pressure on GP service which has barely expanded in the last 10 years.
Last month some GP practices in Glasgow were asked to suspended routine services to focus on acute care, while some branch surgeries have closed with staff redeployed to support other health centres.
In Lanarkshire, a number of GP practices have been open additional days including Saturdays throughout January to help ease pressures on the wider service, while NHS Ayrshire & Arran asked GP practices to move to only seeing urgent and emergency care patients, due to the ‘overwhelming demand’ across general practice.