You may be aware that Tayside Health Board has taken the decision to close the GP practice in Bridge of Earn – against the wishes of the population within Bridge of Earn and the Perth City Practices. As GPs, we made our concerns abundantly clear to those involved in making this decision. But the result is that from Friday, August 30, there will no longer be a GP practice based in Bridge of Earn, leaving 3400 patients requiring access to alternative GP services. The Health Board’s solution to this problem is to distribute approximately 3000 patients to practices in Perth City. It will not have escaped your attention that General Practice nationally is under significant pressure at the present time, involving issues surrounding recruitment to unfilled posts and difficulties securing locum cover when needed. In this regard, Perth City is no different from other areas of Scotland. As doctors, we strive to provide our many patients with a safe, efficient and high quality service, a service that we will now extend to Bridge of Earn patients. We will, however, be attempting to meet this challenge with our present staffing levels. Inevitably, the result of the Health Board’s decision will be increased pressure on appointments and the many services associated with General Practice in Perth City, such as district nursing, health visiting and prescription requests, to name but a few. Patients may, therefore, notice that the service that they are accustomed to becomes strained and stretched and perhaps not as swift as they have previously enjoyed. We are grateful, in advance, to patients for their understanding of the challenging situation we find ourselves facing. We stress that Perth GPs will continue to do our best to accommodate patients from Bridge of Earn and at the same time maintain the ongoing standards of care that are expected of us. If you have any queries or questions regarding this subject you could contact the following: Jane Bruce (associate medical director, Primary Care Services, Kings cross Hospital, Clepington Road Dundee DD3 8EA) or Jane Haskett (general manager, Primary Care Services , Kings cross Hospital, Clepington Road , Dundee, DD3 8EA)
Yours Sincerely, Perth General Practitioners.