Thousands of patients at a GP practice due to close next year face an uncertain future as health chiefs search for new clinics for them.
Earlier this month, Rosemount Medical Group announced it would close in January due to imminent retirement of two doctors – leaving more than 4,000 patients in limbo.
At yesterday’s Integrated Joint Board (IJB) meeting, a “preferred option” has been revealed which is to scour other surgeries in the city to take them on.
However the plan would rely on the clinics accepting the new patients.
A spokesman for the Aberdeen Health and Social Care Partnership (AHSCP) said last night that “several practices” had already signalled their ability to take on extra patients.
It is understood however that many of the patients at Rosemount don’t live in the area.
IJB vice-chairwoman Sarah Duncan said: “GP services will continue as normal at Rosemount over the next six months. There is no need for patients to worry or to change their practice at this time.
“We will be carrying out this work in consultation with patients and GP practices across the city. Patients will be officially informed of today’s decision by letter very shortly and all patients, practice staff and other stakeholders will be kept fully informed of developments.
“We can’t just force GP practices to take patients. While some practices may end up with more patients that should also mean they are entitled to more support.
“I understand that people will feel unsettled by this. It is an unfortunate position that we are in, we didn’t plan for this but now we must plan.”
She added that further consultation would take place and transport issues were being examined for patients.
Midstocket and Rosemount councillor Bill Cormie, a patient at the clinic, said: “This will obviously be very concerning for the patients involved.
“But many of these patients in Rosemount are registered there but live further afield.
“Postcodes need to be checked to see if there are more suitable clinics they could go.”
North-east Labour MSP Lewis Macdonald, another patient, added: “I hope patients will be able to register at the practice of their choice, and that inconvenience and disruption for those who rely most on GP services will be kept to a minimum.”