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Practice had to remove quarter of patients after struggling to recruit GPs

A practice has been forced to cut its patient list because the GP recruitment crisis has left it unable to recruit new staff to replace three doctors who left in recent months.

The Leith Links Medical Centre, Edinburgh has had its boundaries redrawn to cut its patient list from 8,300 to 6,300 after two unfilled recruitment rounds left the three remaining GPs dependant on locum support.

Patients outside the new boundary have received a letter telling them they have been assigned a new surgery where they will be registered from 5 May.

A Q&A on the practice website advises that appointments before this date will continue, but patients should rebook any later appointments at their new practice on the 5 May.

It adds: ‘If you are concerned then we will honour your appointment with us but please be aware this may not be ideal as the results of any tests you have done with us will go to the new practice so you would have to ring them for results.’

Patients unhappy with their choice of allocated surgery are advised to contact the local Health Board ‘straight away’.

RCGP Scotland chair Dr Miles Mack told the Edinburgh Evening News: ‘The news of the GP recruitment crisis’ effect on Leith Links Medical Practice is deeply worrying.

‘Here is a long-standing, highly regarded practice of dedicated and successful GPs, in the heart of one of Europe’s most desirable places to live, unable to find new partners.’

Pulse recently revealed GP training vacancies in Scotland stand at 30% after the first recruitment round, mirroring England where a third of places are unfilled.