GP restricted lists – what does it mean?

Friday July 29th 2016

Six GP practices in Midlothian are now operating a ‘Restricted List’, Midlothian Health and Social Care Partnership have published the following answers to comon questions people may have on the issue.

What is a restricted list?

This means that a GP practice is temporarily unable to take on new patients .  GP practices do not take this step lightly and will only do so when the number of patients registered per doctor reaches capacity.

Why is this happening?

There are a number of reasons behind this including national challenges in recruiting GPs as well as an increased population in Midlothian, and more people living longer with multiple complex illnesses.

Who is affected by these restrictions?

If you are already registered with a practice you will continue to receive a normal service.  All new babies will be able to register with the same practice as you.  The restrictions only affect people who move into the area or want to change their practice for another reason.

What do I do if the practice that I want to join has a restricted list?

If your local GP practice has a restricted list you will be asked to join a different practice in the local area.  If there are no other practices accepting new patients you will be asked to phone ‘Practitioner Services’ who will allocate you a GP.

No one should be unable to register with a GP practice – everyone will be supported to have access to a GP.

What is being done to solve the problem?

Midlothian’s Health & Social Care Partnership is taking the following action:

  • Plans are in place to develop capacity for an additional 3000 patients over the next three to five years. This will include a new larger site for Loanhead Medical Practice and an extension to Newbyres Medical Practice.
  • The possibility of opening a new GP practice is being explored.
  • Two full-time pharmacists have been taken on to support the three Bonnyrigg practices and practices in Dalkeith and Gorebridge, this should help support GPs and free up some of their time to see more patients.
  • Nurses are receiving more training to become Advanced Nurse Practitioners who will be able to see people with more complicated health issues and prescribe medication.
  • Health & Wellbeing Practitioners are being based in three GP practices providing an alternative form of support to people with long term health conditions.
  • A guide will be published soon explaining the alternatives to seeing a GP.
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