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Scottish GP practice site shuts doors after failing to recruit GPs

by Valeria Fiore
11 September 2018

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A Scottish GP practice has taken the decision to close one of its branches after being unsuccessful at recruiting new GPs.
The Mill Practice in Dundee will close its Fintry Mill Medical Centre site and move all patients to the main site, Arthurstone Medical Centre, from 5 October. 
The practice previously said it had been ‘actively trying to recruit replacement GPs since October 2017’ but was unsuccessful in finding GPs to cover the three practice vacancies.
Primary care services were temporarily suspended for just over a month this summer, but the practice decided that in order to provide the best care to their patients Fintry Mill Medical Centre will have to close permanently.
In a statement published on Mill Practice’s website, practice manager Gordon Bain wrote: ‘We have explored all options and following a period of patient consultation the decision has been made to permanently close Fintry Mill Medical Centre.’
‘We are regretful that this decision had to be made, however we believe that this is the only course of action which will safeguard the future of the practice as well as provide our patients with the level of care they deserve.’
Mr Bain added that all patients will be able to see the same GP at Arthurstone Medical Centre and continue to be registered with the Mill Practice.
He told Management in Practice that no member of staff will be made redundant.
A spokesperson for Dundee Health and Social Care Partnership said: ‘All Health Boards across Scotland are currently facing a national shortage of GPs and NHS Tayside is no exception.
‘Despite continuing efforts, Mill Practice in Dundee, which has premises at Arthurstone Medical Centre and Fintry Mill Medical Centre, has been unsuccessful in recruiting GPs to fill three practice vacancies. 
‘A public engagement exercise was led by Dundee Health and Social Care Partnership in conjunction with Fintry Mill Practice and a report was presented to the meeting of the Integration Joint Board held on 28 August 2018.’
Around 3,000 GPs left Scotland to work abroad since 2008, according to recent figures from the General Medical Council (GMC), while a survey by the BMA carried out in 2016 found that one in four practices in Scotland have at least one GP vacancy.