GP surgeries

Monday October 30th 2017

Christine Grahame MSP in Parliament Main

Christine Graham MSP writes her monthly column for Midlothian View.

GP surgeries

There’s been a wee bitty mischief about GP provision services in Midlothian. Let’s make this clear, no-one but no-one will ever be without a GP in Midlothian or indeed anywhere else in Scotland.

In a specific area, due to housing developments, practices may find themselves under severe pressure or there are more elderly people but no practice is fully “closed”.

Penicuik and Eastfield in my constituency have no issues with new patients. Indeed there is a system in place for new residents to an area wishing to register with a practice. They are given a contact and having made that contact a panel decides which practice they should register with.

Newbattle, which serves some in my area, has taken on new GPs and is fully open to residents. By the way, one of the issues with Newbattle is the cost to the GPs of the rental of the premises which is to NHS Lothian in the first instance. Money spent on rental is money not available to the practice to employ additional GPs. It may have been built for example under a costly PPP/PFI contract. I intend to find out.

PPP/PFI contracts

What are these you may ask? These were contracts introduced by Labour in Scotland when they were in Government in the Scottish Parliament.

These have turned out, though they were warned at the time, to a be rotten deal for the us all. Hospitals and schools were built using this disastrous method, The Royal Edinburgh Hospital for example will cost £1.2 billion by the time NHS Lothian actually owns it well into the future.

Schools in Midlothian include Stobhill, Gorebridge, Tynewater, Moorfoot, and Strathesk. It is not till 2037 these and others will belong to the council.

Did you know they weren’t owned by the council? This was the most expensive way to build anything which you don’t actually own for decades.

The SNP government has never used these type of contracts. Labour has said it will take these over. I await a clear figure from Danielle Rowley [Midlothian MP] of the compensation costs payable from the public purse for early termination of these Labour contracts. And cost it will if you are terminating early contract which had decades to run. I’ll let you know.

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