BLUEPRINTS have been drawn up for a purpose-built medical centre in Ratho with space for more clinical staff to meet the demands of the area’s growing population.
Developers Kiltane Group have submitted major expansion plans to replace the tiny surgery, in Baird Road, with a new two-storey facility on Wilkieston Road, which will boast five consulting rooms, one treatment room, a waiting area and a staff meeting room.
It will also include a dental surgery with four consulting rooms. Villagers currently have to travel to Kirkliston or Broxburn for treatment.
Residents have complained that the absence of a permanent GP at the current practice has meant some locals have been forced to wait weeks for an appointment.
Others reported a string of cancellations and mix-ups of test results by locum doctors.
But it is understood the new medical centre – which is expected to open in 2016 – will have space for more clinical staff if the village’s population rises.
The current rolls include 2200 patients, while the average number at Capital surgeries is 7000.
The announcement has been welcomed by residents, who say the area is in desperate need of a bigger facility.
Judy Wightman, chair of Ratho and District Community Council, said: “We are absolutely delighted this is progressing and I will be very happy when they actually start building.
“We have been very involved in the process. It has been planned for a while so we are very relieved that it is finally starting to happen.”
It comes amid a nationwide “GP recruitment crisis”, according to a recent survey by BMA Scotland that found a fifth of practices had at least one vacancy.
Peter Gabbitas, director of the Edinburgh Community Health Partnership, said: “The submission of the planning application is a significant milestone for this project and we are keen to maintain the momentum moving ahead.
“The new surgery will provide improved and modern accommodation for the growing local community.”
The existing property at Wilkieston Road will be demolished by the developer and a new building developed in its place before NHS Lothian takes on the lease of the ground floor.