Petition to save Inverleith GP surgery launched

Inverleith Medical Centre, Inverleith Row.'' Picture:' Neil Hanna
Inverleith Medical Centre, Inverleith Row.'' Picture:' Neil Hanna
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A PETITION has been launched to save a much-loved GP surgery which is scheduled to close in the summer.

The 4000 patients at the Inverleith Medical Practice face an anxious wait after receiving a letter telling them the practice will close in less than three months, as health bosses at NHS Lothian scramble to put in place alternative arrangements.

The plan is to move the existing patients to medical practices within their own catchment areas, as many travel to Inverleith for the service.

The letter that sparked the Save Inverleith Medical Practice online petition states: “The GP partners, Dr Peter Stewart and Dr Max Inwood, at Inverleith Medical Practice have decided to resign from the practice due to personal circumstances and GP recruitment problems. The practice will close on Friday 30 June 2017. Please be reassured that you will not be left without access to a GP.”

Alex Burford, who lives in Craigleith with her partner and four-year-old daughter said she was “heartbroken” at the decision.

She said: “I love the practice, that‘s why I’ve been going there for so many years; my partner goes as well and we take our daughter.

“I love the fact it’s a small practice, and the reception staff are the best reception staff I’ve ever come across. I find them extraordinary as doctor’s receptionists are not normally known for being friendly. They’re delightful, they’re really helpful – it’s just a small friendly practice.

She added: “I’ve never had any problem getting an appointment for my daughter – if I phone up that day, they always say they will see her the same day. It’s lovely and I’m heartbroken.

“Before when I’ve been to the doctor, they’re looking at their watch before you’ve even opened your mouth.

“We’ve always received excellent care from all the medical staff and I always recommend them and I felt like I’d discovered this amazing secret that Edinburgh had.”

Miles Briggs, Lothian Tory MSP, said: “The proposed closure of the Inverleith Medical Practice is yet another indication of the huge pressure on GP services across Edinburgh and Lothian as the area’s population grows and demand for GP services increases.”

Rob McCulloch-Graham, joint director of Edinburgh Health and Social Care Partnership, said: “The GP partners at Inverleith Medical Practice informed us that, for personal reasons, they plan to resign from their contract with NHS Lothian this summer.

“Edinburgh’s Health and Social Care Partnership, NHS Lothian and the team at the practice are working together to ensure patients continue to receive safe, effective and ­timely care.”

You can sign the petition here.