Worry over future of four Aberdeenshire GP surgeries after decision to slash opening hours

David Duguid MP at Fraserburgh Hospital

DAVID Duguid MP is to meet with a new GP services contractor amid fears for the future of Aberdeenshire doctor surgeries following a decision to slash opening hours at four practices.

Ayrshire Medical Group has taken control of Central Buchan Medical Practice, comprising of Strichen, New Pitsligo and Maud, and An Caorann Medical Practice at Portsoy.

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Dr Gilani and Partners, of Ayrshire Medical Group, already operate several surgeries across Scotland, serving thousands of patients.

But since the takeover in Aberdeenshire, services in areas such as Strichen have been significantly reduced and the surgery is now only open on a Monday and a Thursday.

Mr Duguid is to hold a meeting with residents to hear their concerns about the future of rural medical provision in their area before meeting Dr Gilani to outline their fears following the cut in opening hours.

He is also meeting with Aberdeenshire Health and Social Care Partnership (AHSCP) later this month to ask what it is doing to help alleviate the situation.

In a letter to Dr Gilani, Mr Duguid expressed the concerns of residents who fear they will have “next to no healthcare provision” and that the new opening hours are forcing patients to travel significant distances where public transport isn’t available.

He said: “These developments raise serious concerns about the erosion of local healthcare provisions for North East residents, in particular for out-of-hours care.

“Indeed, a number of constituents have expressed concern that we will soon have next to no local healthcare provision in the North East.

“There had been recent assurances from AHSCP to patients that, upon the takeover of the Central Buchan and An Caorann practices, there would be, ‘very little disruption or changes’ to the provision of their local healthcare.

“However, these new opening hours mean patients are potentially having to travel significant distances to areas where public transport is not readily available.

“The community have also raised their concerns to me about the lack of consultation prior to these announcements, and confusion about exactly what changes are being made.”

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