Battle to save Carstairs GP service continues

Carstairs Surgery, School Road, Carstairs'23/11/10'Picture by Lindsay Addison
Carstairs Surgery, School Road, Carstairs'23/11/10'Picture by Lindsay Addison
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ABSOLUTELY everyone seems determined that a GP service for Carstairs WILL be maintained.

NO-ONE, however, seems to know this week exactly HOW that will be done.

The Gazette first reported three weeks ago that South Lanarkshire Council, as the GP practice’s landlords at the Carstairs Old Schoolhouse, had slapped an eviction notice on the practice, ordering the doctor and staff to be out by the end of May.

This was after the council, on renewing the lease of the building, tripled the rent it was asking from the practice, a bill it could not afford after an NHS Lanarkshire decision last year financially crippled it.

This was to allow a private pharmacy to open in the village, leading to the closure of the practice’s own long-establshed and popular dispensary, the main source of its income.

After patients alerted the Gazette to the looming closure the council, NHS Lanarkshire, the practice and Clydesdale MSP Aileen Campbell held a crisis meeting as we went to press last Wednesday to try to hammer out a solution to save a practice which serves 2300 patients in a wide rural area.

For more on this story pick up a copy of the Lanark Gazette which is in the shops now.