A Perthshire village GP surgery, which is under-staffed and has no computers, is facing the axe.
Health bosses have proposed closing the service at Bankfoot – a branch of Stanley Medical Practice – after an “extensive” recruitment drive failed to secure a new, full-time GP.
The plan was announced to members of the Perth and Kinross Integration Joint Board.
Chief Officer Gordon Paterson said one of the main factors for the proposal was the very low number of patients who used the Main Street branch.
“The practice has a patient list size of 3,950 patients,” he said. “An audit undertaken by the practice in December 2018 showed that only 44 patients were seen in the Bankfoot surgery in the previous four years.
“By comparison, between 60 and 40 patients are seen in Stanley each day.”
Mr Paterson added: “There are no services provided in Bankfoot other than GP consultations.
“The premises are not staffed and there is no IT link in the premises, and consequently no computers.”
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He said: “If a GP consultation is to be held in Bankfoot, the GP attending has to print out the clinical summary for the patient prior to undertaking the visit.
“It is quicker for the GP to undertake a house call, rather than agree a consultation in Bankfoot branch surgery.”
Independent councillor Xander McDade asked for more details on whether some elderly patients could struggle to get to the surgery using public transport.
“We can’t expect that the GP will do a house call for every routine appointment,” he said. “If it takes two buses then that could be a significant issue.”
SNP councillor Eric Drysdale: “I think we have to have an eye on what is reasonably practical here.
“If the usage is as infrequent as it is and the IT is as inadequate as we’re told, we are looking at an entirely sensible and realistic proposal.”
The board was told that local patients had been consulted, but no comments had been received.
Werner Reiche, chairman for Stanley and District Community Council said: “We had heard rumours about this, but this is the first that we’ve heard anything official.
“I know that this service is hardly used, so I don’t imagine there will be any adverse reaction to it, but we will discuss it at the next community council meeting.”