Dumfries & Galloway Health & Social Care

Meetings scheduled on Lockerbie/Lochmaben GP practice status

AN UPDATE is to be provided on work to support a GP practice in Lockerbie – following moves last month intended to help sustain services.

Two public meetings have been scheduled in Lockerbie and Lochmaben on the evening of Wednesday May 22.

This is intended as a further opportunity to discuss developments following action in February which saw approximately 700 of the 5500 patients at Lockerbie Medical Practice informed of a transfer to Lochmaben Medical Group.

Dr Kenneth Donaldson is Medical Director, and he said: “At that time we had to act quickly in order to ensure we could support GP services in Lockerbie.

“A month on from the actual patient move, we want to ensure people are kept informed about the actions being taken, and that they have an opportunity to tell us how they see the situation and to raise any issues.”

In February, letters went out to those patients registered at Lockerbie who lived within an area adjacent to Lochmaben to inform them of a transfer of service to Lochmaben Medical Group.

It was stated that a further 250 patients who live outside the Lockerbie practice area would be contacted with help to access GP provision in a practice that serves their area. These letters will be issued shortly.

Dr Donaldson said: “We also stated in February that a letter would go out to other Lockerbie registered patients living within the Lochmaben practice area, highlighting the option to move their registration to Lochmaben Medical Group if they wish.

“A number of people at the last public meeting volunteered an interest in transferring to Lochmaben. As promised, letters will go out shortly to those who are eligible to make the switch, and they will then have that opportunity should they wish to do so.

“It is still early days, but we are encouraged that staff at Lockerbie Medical Practice are beginning to see a positive impact from this move of patients.

“A new Practice Nurse and a new Advanced Practitioner are now set to begin working at the Lockerbie practice in the next few weeks. Efforts are continuing to recruit long-term GP cover and reduce the reliance on locum support, but we are fortunate that there are now a number of locum GPs providing regular support to the practice.

“We’re still far from being in an ideal position of being able to provide the service in Lockerbie that we would want to be providing, but as work continues we are positive about getting to that destination.

“Meanwhile, staff at Lochmaben Medical Group say they have comfortably absorbed the additional patients after reconfiguring their appointment system, but we continue to liaise closely with the practice to ensure it and the surrounding infrastructure is managing okay.”

The meeting in Lockerbie takes place at 6.30 pm in King’s Arms Hotel on Wednesday May 22, while the meeting in Loch

maben the same evening takes place at 8 pm at King’s Arms Hotel.