I have written to Lorna Birse-Stewart, Chair of Tayside Health Board, and Grant Archibald, Chief Executive of NHS Tayside seeking clarification of the Health Board’s commitment to the 5 400 Dundee patients affected by the proposed closure of the Ryehill Health Centre and saying it should do all it can to keep the practice open.
NHS Tayside needs to be much clearer as to how it will support the patients at Ryehill and he has asked for assurances that the Health Board has discussed all the options and will consider taking over the running of the health centre rather than see it closed and the patients disbursed to other GP practices.
The Health Board and the Health and Social Care Partnership have to be clear as to how it is tackling the Ryehill medical practice’s decision to relinquish its contract with the Health Board and supporting the thousands of patients involved to have access to GP services locally.
I cannot accept that, after so many years of service to the community, the approach of the Health Board is to simply accept it closes. It must look at the option of running the practice itself to keep it open. NHS Tayside already directly runs four GP practices across Tayside including the Maryfield Health Centre. If it can be done there, it can be done at Ryehill Health Centre and I am seeking assurances that this will be actively considered by the Health Board.
It strikes me as infinitely preferable that the health board keeps the practice open under NHS Tayside management than closes it which would mean thousands of people having to be found a new GP.
Adding 5400 people across the other GP practices in Dundee will simply add to the pressure on these practices and the quality of service and I don’t see that as in any way the best outcome.