Closure of Fife GP practice will have affect on others

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Patients at most GP surgeries around Kirkcaldy will face a longer wait to see their GP following the closure of the first practice in the town.

The redistribution of over 1600 patients from Dr McGlone’s patient list is already having a knock-on effect on two of the neighbouring practices at Kirkcaldy Health Centre where some of the patients have been moved to.

And others in the town, including Bennochy Medical Centre, The Path Medical Practice, Nicol Street and St Brycedale practices, are believed to be in the same boat.

Izzy MacDougall, practice manager at Dr Egerton and partners at Kirkcaldy Health Centre, said the effects of the closure were also being felt by staff.

“We had 260 additional patients added to our list, while larger practices in the town with more GPs got almost 400,” she explained.

“One of the GP partners in my practice is having to work an extra half day every week to cope with the increase in patients, while others have had to take on extra slots to their existing schedules to absorb the impact.

“The practice nurses are also being affected as are the admin staff who are having to input all the additional data into our computer system in a timely manner so that we are prepared for our new patients.

“We are one of the best practices for appointments and we are now sitting at a two week waiting time, while some others are between four to six weeks.

“Some practices have lost partners and the GP crisis is definitely having an effect, however we are doing our best to make our new patients welcome.”

Claire Dobson, divisional general manager with Fife’s Health and Social Care Partnership, said: “In common with the rest of the UK, Fife faces GP recruitment challenges.

“We are committed to working with practices and the Local Medical Committee to support the transition of patients to their new practices. This includes additional pharmacy support, support to transfer medical records as well as funding to support practical procedures like taking blood.

“In addition a sustainability and resilience group has been set up to work alongside GPs and practices as we face challenges both in the short and long term.”