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GP SHORTAGE TAKING ITS TOLL AS MORE PRACTICES CLOSE THEIR DOORS

South Scotland MSP Colin Smyth has raised concerns over the growing GP crisis in Dumfries and Galloway after it was revealed that more practices were closing their lists to new patients.

Following a Freedom of Information request, NHS Dumfries and Galloway revealed that registration at the following practises were closed to new patients:

Name of Practice/Code

Date of Restriction

Restriction Type

St Michaels Dumfries Y18273

17.10.16

Closed List

Church Pl Moffat Y18381

28.09.17

Closed List

Lochree Stranraer Y18095

18.01.18

Closed List

Charotte Medical, Dumfries Y18305

24.01.18

Closed List

 

Every NHS board in Scotland is obliged to provide a patient with a GP, however the restrictions can apply to choice and can mean people do not have access to a doctor in their nearest area.

According to NHS Dumfries and Galloway’s recruitment website there are currently GP vacancies at Lockerbie Medical Practice; Newton Stewart; Charlotte Street Medical Practice, in Dumfries; Castle Douglas Medical Group; Church Place Surgery Moffat; Greencroft Medical Centre; in Annan; Loch Ree in Stranraer; Thornhill; Canonbie and Lochnaw Medical Practice in Stranraer.

South Scotland MSP Colin Smyth said, “The GP crisis facing the region is continuing unabated. The fact GP surgeries are having to close their lists to new patients simply highlights how this is impacting on patients. It is the legacy of the Scottish Government failing to train enough doctors over the past decade and the added burdens placed on GPs which made the role unattractive for many new graduates. This is just the tip of the iceberg with many others struggling to cope with any additions to their patients lists and GP vacancies the length and breadth of Dumfries and Galloway”.

“I know GP practices across the region are working hard to maintain access for patients and had it not been for the good will of GPs often working beyond the call of duty, far more would be forced to close their lists. Those who have had to close their lists only did so as a very last resort. It simply illustrates that the action the Government are taking to tackle the GP crisis is simply not good enough."

“This is not a new problem though. There have been warning signs from medical specialists and local communities to the Government for years. The SNP Government were warned back in 2011 that once it had cut funding to training places it would have a knock-on effect for patients. We are now seeing the full effects of these cuts.”

 

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