The decision to transfer 3,500 patients from Bridge of Earn to the surrounding areas with a week’s notice has been blasted as “a sad state of affairs” by a community watchdog.
Earn Community Council has lambasted the health board’s actions and lack of communication following this week’s announcement the village surgery will close for good on Friday.
The community council broke the news earlier this month that the GPs were resigning and on Thursday, the doctors posted a sign at the branch confirming its closure.
A spokesperson for the group said: “It is a sad state of affairs when it is the community council who have to advise the community what is happening to this essential service due to a complete lack of any communication from NHS.
“The community council has discovered NHS Tayside will write to every patient offering them an alternate, hopefully interim, practice to register with.
“Should that nominated practice not be deemed appropriate by a patient they will have the option to apply to register to another practice covering their area.
“The lack of clarity, consultation and support for a positive and active community is, frankly, an insult and completely unacceptable.”
The group want clarity on transport, staff futures, the pharmacy and £1million ring-fenced for a new surgery.
An NHS Tayside spokesperson said: “In order that patients do have access to safe and sustainable services, it has been agreed that patients will now be allocated to nearby GP surgeries.
“Each patient will be transferred to a nearby practice with effect from Monday, 2 September 2019.
“Letters detailing which GP practice that individual patients have been transferred to, along with an additional information sheet, are being sent to patients in the coming days to explain the situation and the new arrangements.
“The letter also sets out what patients should do in the event that they would prefer to register with an alternative practice of their own choice. All patients will have a new GP practice allocated to them.”
Ochil and South Perthshire MP Luke Graham said: “The time to act was months ago, but dithering has resulted in that lost opportunity, so I will work cross-party and do everything I can to support the community.”
Perthshire South and Kinross-shire MSP Roseanna Cunningham added: “I do not want to see Bridge of Earn left without a GP and I would urge Perth and Kinross Health and Social Care Partnership and NHS Tayside to continue to seek a permanent solution that will be acceptable to the community.”