News that the Partners at Eyemouth Medical Practice are re-considering the future of the Coldingham Branch Surgery and Dispensing Service has caused concern for Borders politicians and local residents.
John Lamont MP and Rachael Hamilton MSP have received a lot of phone calls and emails from worried constituents - particularly from people with limited transport options.
With limited public transport options, many constituents fear they will be unable to access vital GP and dispensing services.
This announcement from NHS Borders reflects wider pressures GP practices are facing right across Scotland. The Scottish Government must step up to ensure local health boards have the resources to recruit and retain staff, particularly in rural areas.
Mr Lamont and Mrs Hamilton hope to meet with the Chief Executive of NHS Borders to discuss this further in the coming days. They also understand how tough the decision must have been for the local GPs who they are also hoping to meet.
John Lamont MP said:
“I have been contacted by a lot of local residents who are extremely worried about the potential closure of the Coldingham Branch Surgery and the impact the loss of this vital service may have.
“This is particularly concerning for people with limited transport options who are unable to easily access alternative services.
“I understand these concerns and hope to meet with the Chief Executive of NHS Borders in the coming days.
“GP practices are under pressure right across Scotland and the SNP Government must ensure surgeries and dispensing services, particularly in rural areas, have the resources they need to provide for our communities.
“Residents have been asked for their feedback on the proposals by 9th August, and I would encourage everyone to make sure their voices are heard.”
Rachael Hamilton MSP said:
“Local GP surgeries are vital to communities right across the Borders.
“Many people in and around Coldingham, Reston and Cockburnspath have contacted me with serious concerns about the possible closure of the surgery.
“For many older people, some of whom cannot drive, and for those living with mobility constraints too, this will be particularly difficult news.
“The SNP Government in Edinburgh continually fails to provide the necessary funding for our NHS board and rural services must be protected.
“I will be discussing this further with NHS Borders and I urge local residents to make their views known in feedback on the proposals.”