The Courier & Advertiser (Angus and Dundee)

Plea to patients as GP shortage bites at Brechin Health Centre

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A shortage of doctors will leave Brechin Health Centre with reduced GP cover over the next two days.

NHS Tayside has said walk-in surgeries will run as usual between 8.30 and 10.30am but with reduced staffing.

All patients presenting will be triaged by a member of the clinical team on arrival to ensure they see the best healthcare profession­al for their problem.

Dr Michelle Watts, associate medical director of primary care services for NHS Tayside, said: “GP recruitmen­t and retention is a national problem, affecting health boards across Scotland.

“We are working hard to recruit GPs for Brechin to care for the local population as part of our commitment to develop a sustainabl­e and high-quality practice which in turn will attract staff to the area.

“We recognise the difficulti­es the lack of GP and nurse staffing is having on patients who access our services in Brechin, and are grateful for their support during this challengin­g period.”

To minimise the waiting time for those who require to be seen on the day, patients who do not require same day attention are being urged not to attend the walk-in surgery today and tomorrow.

“The minor injury and illness unit in Brechin will be open as normal between the hours of 9am and 4.30pm and people with minor injuries are asked to present directly at the minor injury unit,” said NHS Tayside.

“Local community pharmacies can also offer advice and treatment for many minor illnesses such as sore throats, coughs, colds and upset stomachs. Repeat prescripti­ons can be ordered directly at your normal community pharmacy.”

Last August, NHS Tayside announced it was stepping in to take control of the health centre in a move aimed at averting a GP crisis in the town.

It followed the departure of two doctors from the centre, with replacemen­ts unable to be found because of a shortage of national practition­ers.

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