Only one part-time GP remains at a troubled Aberdeen medical practice amid a mass exodus over changes in management which the first minister has been “begged” to stop.
Yesterday, an eighth doctor felt they had “no option” but to resign from Old Aberdeen medical practice.
One of the group has penned a letter to Nicola Sturgeon and Health Secretary Jeane Freeman, as the doctor claims the practice is “crashing towards a terminal event”.
Seen by The P&J, it claims 3,000 patients could soon be shed by the surgery, as the authorities deal with an “unprecedented situation brought about entirely by management”.
By March, once notice periods are worked, the outgoing doctors claim there will be “no practice” left.
It is hoped bidders will come forward to take on Old Aberdeen, Camphill, Carden, Marywell, Torry and Whinhill practices.
Old Aberdeen – which serves thousands of university students and patients from surrounding high deprivation areas – had asked to be excluded from the £5.8 million project.
The work is planned to improve sustainability by creating large patient lists – but the Sunnybank Road doctors argued a special case should be made as it already serves 11,000 people.
“Patients will rightfully be furious when they realise the truth; the building may remain but the staff who have cared for them for the last 20 years will be gone,” the GP wrote to Ms Sturgeon and Ms Freeman.
“I beg that our practice be removed from the process, with immediate effect, as this is the only hope we may be able to rebuild our team and get out of this disastrous situation.”
Some of the GPs have said they would withdraw their resignations if the decision were reversed.
A spokesman for Aberdeen City Health and Social Care Partnership, which oversees the practice, said: “In advance of completing the procurement process, we are working hard on shorter-term solutions to ensure that services are maintained for patients and that the practice team is fully supported.
“As an immediate measure, the partnership is looking to bring in additional locum GPs to the practice and recruit to fill vacancies.”
Extra nurses, pharmacists, physiotherapists and mental health staff will be drafted in too
A Scottish Government spokesman said: “The safe provision of services to patients is of utmost importance.
“The Scottish Government is in discussion with Aberdeen Health and Social Care Partnerships as a solution is sought.”