Is Carstairs GP practice doomed to close?

Carstairs Surgery, School Road, Carstairs'23/11/10'Picture by Lindsay Addison
Carstairs Surgery, School Road, Carstairs'23/11/10'Picture by Lindsay Addison

PREDICTIONS that the GP practice in Carstairs would collapse appear to be coming all too true.

The surgery in Carstairs’ School Road is under serious threat of closing in May, leaving staff and doctors out of a job and a wide area of rural Clydesdale without its own medical practice for the first time in living memory.

NHS Lanarkshire was warned last year that this would be the result of its decision to allow a private pharmacy to open elsewhere in the village.

That decision led to the closure of the local surgery’s own dispensary which, it was claimed at the time, was a vital income-earner for the whole practice.

Just how vital it was became clear this week with confirmation that, unless a last-minute rescue is mounted, the practice and surgery closes in May.

The finger of blame is not being directed at NHS Lanarkshire alone, though.

The Gazette understands that, the loss of the dispensary income apart, the final nail in the coffin of the practice was a TRIPLING of the rent for the surgery’s School House base by the building’s owners, South Lanarkshire Council.

The practice confirmed to the Gazette that there was “a severe threat” that it would close in May “unless a resolution is found to issues facing the practice”.

The Gazette attempted to obtain clarification this week from NHS Lanarkshire on what GP service cover will be provided for the village and the wider practice area after any closure in two months’ time.

But its statement simply stated: ”NHS Lanarkshire would like to reassure patients that we are committed to ensuring GP services continue to be available in Carstairs.”

For reaction to the news and an in-depth report, pick up a copy of this week’s Carluke and Lanark Gazette which is in the shops now.