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NHS Lothian takes over fifth collapsing GP practice

NHS Lothian has taken over its fifth struggling GP practice, amid a deepening crisis in the profession in Scotland.

East Lothian Health and Social Care Partnership, part of NHS Lothian, took Eskbridge Medical Practice into direct management in December 2015, after one of the practice’s senior partners announced earlier in the year that he would be retiring.

Staff currently employed by the practice were transferred to the NHS on the same terms and conditions.

East Lothian Integration joint board chair Donald Grant said: ‘We think this is the best option all round at the moment. It should cause minimum disruption to patients.’

The practice is now recruiting GPs, a full time nurse and a senior administrator.

Scottish practices have come increasingly under the control of NHS boards in the past year, as an increasing number of GPs look to leave the profession.

NHS Boards have already intervened in Bannockburn and Kersiebank medical practices in NHS Forth Valley; Brimmond medical practice in NHS Grampian, as well as practices in Bangholm, Kirkliston, Leith Links and Ratho last year a within NHS Lothian, although Bangholm has now returned to independent practice.

A recent poll from RCGP Scotland found that nearly a tenth of Scottish GPs plan to leave general practice in 2017, with many citing workload and resource constraints as reasons behind their decision to leave.