GP national shortage impacts on Linlithgow practice

Linlithgow health centre centre.
Linlithgow health centre centre.
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Angry patients fear they will soon have to register with another GP surgery if they want to continue receiving treatment.

Dr David Cochran, who ran the Linlithgow Family Practice for more than 21 years, retired in June.

His departure was tinged with frustration as he claimed recent changes in GP contracts forced his hand into retiring early.

Concerns have now been voiced by his patients as the health board has so far failed to appoint a replacement GP.

Dr Cochran remained as a locum, simply to ensure continuity for his patients.

A plan had been mooted where cover would be supplied by The Richmond Practice in Bo’ness.

But Doctor Cochran claimed that had also fallen flat and that Lothian Health board was now considering neighbouring practices.

Jim Forrest, director of West Lothian Community Health and Care Partnership, said: “We have advertised nationally for new GPs to take on part or all of the practice.

“However, there is a national shortage of GPs, as well as an increase in the numbers of retiring doctors.

“We plan to write again to each patient to explain the course of action, what options they will have and where to seek further information.”