Arbroath GPs have warned of a potentially catastrophic domino effect on other town practices if health chiefs do not save a closure-threatened town surgery.
Health chiefs say they are still pursuing potential solutions but the town’s other GP surgeries have warned a failure to act could push them into a similar situation.
One doctor warned the Arbroath population could be left facing “bare minimum care”.
In a statement issued on behalf of Springfield East and West Medical Centres, Arbroath Medical Centre and Friockheim Health Centre, Springfield East GP Partner Dr Giles Ledlie said a “detailed and credible” offer had been made to NHS Tayside for future town provision.
The offer involves the health board taking over the running of the Abbey practice and the others making a number of medical staffing sessions available to support it.
The alternative is a projected 25% increase in the patient lists at each of the other surgeries, which has been branded potentially disastrous.
The statement said: “Since Abbey Health Centre gave notice to NHS Tayside, due to GP shortages and recruitment difficulties, to hand back its contract, all of the Arbroath practices and the Friockheim Health Centre have been working together to meet this challenge.
“NHS Tayside have a detailed and credible offer on the table from the practices to secure the future provision of General Practice for all patients in Arbroath but to succeed, this requires NHS Tayside to secure the Abbey Health Centre as a GP practice directly run by the health board.
“This is required to enable other practices to support NHS Tayside in providing high quality care to local residents.
“We can confirm that none of the Practices are in a position to support distribution of the patients currently registered with Abbey Health Centre to their lists and in fact this option is likely to push these practices into the same position that Abbey found themselves in at the start of the year.”
Dr Ledlie added: “We feel that the safe answer to continue primary care for the whole population of Arbroath is that the health board takes on Abbey Health Centre.
“Our concern if that does not happen is that there is significant threat to good care being able to be provided in Arbroath.”
An NHS spokesperson said: “Patients of the Abbey Practice should be assured that, as stated back in February, they will still have access to a GP and primary care services from July 31.
“Since the Abbey Practice gave notice that it would be handing back its contract to NHS Tayside on July 31, Angus Health and Social Care Partnership and NHS Tayside have been working closely with the other local GP practices.
“Positive discussions are continuing and all parties are focused on bringing together resources from the Angus Health and Social Care Partnership, NHS Tayside and the other GP practices to deliver care and treatment services which meet the needs of the local population.
“These resources include identifying an appropriate number of GP sessions, as well as making sure other primary care services can be delivered safely and sustainably.”