GP recruitment ‘unsustainable’ in Fife

18 GP surgeries in Fife have reported full patient lists, with seven of those struggling to employ more doctors

Seven of the 18 GP practices reporting full patient lists across Fife are experiencing difficulties in employing family doctors, according to The Courier.

Two of the seven are said to be in ‘high risk’ situations, with GPs having left and not been replaced.

One such surgery, Dr Morris and Partners, has reportedly been attempting to recruit a new doctor since 2016.

Another – Lochgelly Medical Practice – has just one GP running the practice, following a resignation over a year ago.

North Glen practice, Kennoway Medical Group, Methilhaven, Inverkeithing Medical Group and Dr Mitchell and Partners are also experiencing recruitment problems.

NHS Fife has stated that no patient will be left without a doctor in Fife; however, it was recently revealed that an advert for out-of-hours GPs received no applications whatsoever.

Labour MSP, Claire Baker, has stated that the situation unacceptable and unsustainable.

“Fife is in the midst of a GP crisis,” she said. “Ultimately, it is patients who will suffer as they struggle to get appointments.

“Instead of taking charge, the Scottish government and NHS Fife would rather dodge responsibility. We urgently need solutions to Fife’s GP crisis.”

NHS Fife’s medical director, Dr Frances Elliot, said that, as with every other area in the UK, Fife is experiencing greater pressure on primary care services.

Recruitment is carried out by individual practices, but Elliot said the NHS Fife health board works closely with them to offer as much support as possible.

“This includes work through the GP Sustainability Group which is chaired by the associate medical director of Fife Health and Social Care Partnership,” she said.

“In addition we are working closely with the Universities of St Andrews and Dundee…with a view not only to encourage future graduates to choose a career in general practice but also to do so here in Fife.”

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