A community group has called on residents in Bridge of Earn to help ease the strain on vulnerable residents who are struggling to get to medical appointments now the village’s doctors surgery has closed.
The community has long been affected by limited public transport to PRI and Ninewells, meaning villagers who need to get to services at the Perth or Dundee hospitals have had to plan their day around bus timetables and onward connections.
The situation has been worsened by the recent loss of the Bridge of Earn GP service, which ceased operating at the beginning of last month after both doctors withdrew from the Main Street practice,
The move meant 3,000 registered patients were decanted to Perth, with a further 400 told to phone practices in Kinross if they need an appointment.
Now the Earn Community Council has raised concerns that elderly and vulnerable patients in the Bridge of Earn catchment area will find it difficult to access primary health care.
The group, which battled to save the local GP service, is now campaigning to set up a community transport scheme to help elderly residents make it to medical appointments outside the village, while plans for a more localised solution are sought.
Volunteer drivers would be required to transport patients to and from appointments, and members of the community councillors are asking anyone who thinks they can spare an hour or two to step forward.
Community Council secretary Janice Sloan said: “Following the recent closure of the GP surgery in Bridge of Earn this has brought to a head the issue of personalised and or group transport limitations.
“Although Bridge of Earn is well served by three bus routes, none pass the GP surgeries in Perth. There are also patients needing personal transport to Ninewells or PRI and residents in remoter places have very limited services.”
She said the community council intended to form a management committee to make the arrangements for a coordinator to be appointed as the first steps towards forming a group of volunteer drivers to operate across the area.
Anyone who can donate some of their time is urged to email chairmanecc.gmail.com.