NHS Tayside has confirmed the closure of Ryehill GP surgery in Dundee, with patients to be assigned a new doctor from July.
The health board say patients will be transferred to new GPs local to where they live after a recommendation to shutter the practice was accepted.
We revealed in February how over 5,000 patients faced uncertainty after the current partners at the practice told of their intention to terminate their contract, citing an inability to recruit doctors.
NHS Tayside says it has been working with Dundee Health and Social Care Partnership since then to explore various options to ensure Ryehill patients could still see a GP.
A spokesperson told The Courier the main consideration had been the “provision of safe and effective care” as well as ensuring access to a GP could be delivered “safely and sustainably in the longer term”.
They explained the preferred option, for existing patients to be transferred to a “small number” of local GP practices, was approved.
“Patients are now being sent individual letters to advise them of this decision and to outline the next step in the process.
“We are trying to make the transfer as seamless and easy for patients and therefore they do not need to do anything.
“NHS Tayside will register patients with another GP local to where they live and they will automatically transfer on 1 July to their new practice.
“We will write to patients again to give the details of their new GP and some more information about the transfer,” the health board said.
What will happen to Ryehill Health Centre?
While the GPs have terminated their contract, the health centre, of which the GP surgery occupies a small area, will remain open.
“There is a range of health and care services currently delivered from Ryehill Health Centre, including health visitors, community mental health services and podiatry.
“These services will continue to be provided from the building after June 30 2022.
“In addition to this, Dundee HSCP is considering what other local and community health and care services could be provided in the building in the future.”
West End councillor Fraser Macpherson says the priority now should be a smooth transfer to new GPs.
Dundee councillor calls for smooth transfer of patients
He said: “I previously sought and was given an assurance that any patient unhappy with his or her proposed new arrangements would have the right to be considered for transfer to an alternative practice to that proposed by NHS Tayside.
“Transferring 5,400 patients is a huge undertaking and NHS Tayside must properly resource this to ensure it runs smoothly.
“I have sought assurances from the health board that the process will be efficient and as smooth as possible.”