Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Local response to loss of surgery

Last week I reported (here and here) on how the shortage of GP facilities and resources for residents in Edinburgh is becoming acute - and the possible closure of the Southside Surgery in Bernard Terrace.

I have received a copy of a response to the Chair and Ch Exec of NHS Lothian, (and the Integrated Joint Board), on behalf of the Southside Association which is a representative body for local people. I replicate it here with permission.

"The Southside Association is greatly concerned about the news that the above General Practitioners’ Surgery is in all likelihood to close.
 The practice has been there for many years and has provided an excellent service to generations of families.  I have been a patient there for over 25 years, and share the shock and disappointment about the news with many of the local residents.
 We all are aware of the problems recruiting new and replacement GPs, and hope that this matter will be addressed by the appropriate authorities.
The area already lost GP provision when the practice at East Preston Street closed.  There are two large accommodation blocks for about 850 students under construction yards from the present premises occupied by the Southside Surgery, and the Richard Verney Health Centre for students at Potterrow will have to be relocated when that site is redeveloped.
 The patient list at Southside Surgery is sizeable, and it is hard to believe that the remaining practices will have the capacity to absorb dispersal of over 5000 patients from there.
 We understand that it will not be easy to secure alternative premises for the surgery.  There are to be two sections on the ground floor of the St Leonard’s Street Unite student blocks available for offices or shops, and indeed we were led to believe that one of these sections was to accommodate a GP’s surgery.   Has this option been explored and/ or ruled out?  Is modification of another local building feasible?
 We urge all concerned to work to resolve the accommodation problem.  We note the comments as reported in the Evening News last week by Mr George Walker about securing premises well ahead of the expected deadline, and trust that this confidence will be justified.
  Yours faithfully
 By e-mail
 Colin E Christison

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