West Kilbride Community Council have issued strong concerns to the Scottish Secretary for Health Shona Robison in relation to the ongoing GP crisis affecting the village surgery.
Last month, there were issues with a Friday morning opening with no GPs available due to a combination of annual leave, and ill health.
John G Lamb, Chairman. of the community council stated in his letter: “ Since January we have been waiting for our local Medical Practice to collapse. On a recent Friday morning these fears were realised and the surgery had no doctors attending at all.
“We are aware that our highly valued doctors work under intolerable stress caused by the current shortages and we now fear that those who remain may decide to leave rather than be forced into providing a dangerous and unsatisfactory service. This would be deeply regrettable for all those involved, is totally unacceptable, and is a major concern for our community. However it would be understandable.
“We are aware of the national challenges in appointing doctors and we would urge you to address this crisis. Our community is not alone. We know of local communities where the Medical Practice has collapsed and only a piece meal service is available. We have now joined their ranks.
“It should also be noted that surrounding area Medical Practices are also under pressure and have currently closed their lists to all new admissions.
“We would add that whilst this situation continues we would vehemently oppose any increase in housing in our locality.
“We would appreciate your consideration of these concerns and hope the Scottish Government is ready to imaginatively review and fund these services.”
During the recent Friday morning closure, a sign on the West Kilbride Medical Practice stated: “Due to unforeseen circumstances we are unable to see patients this morning. If you require urgent attention please attend Crosshouse Hospital A&E department.”
However, the surgery re-opened shortly afterwards. With two GPs being on leave, a locum doctor was meant to be present this morning; however, they did not come into work.
The surgery re-opened later that morning with the Assistant Nurse Practitioner seeing patients while home visits were made by a GP, and a doctor was in position at the surgery come Friday afternoon.
Earlier in the year, we reported that the NHS vowed to support West Kilbride GP practice after it announced two of its doctors were leaving..
From April, the practice has been operating an ‘on the day’ appointment system.