Surgery on the road to recovery

Cllr Margot Russell outside Dalkeith Medical Practice.

Cllr Margot Russell outside Dalkeith Medical Practice.

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Dalkeith Surgery hopes to re-open its restricted patient list in the coming months as it gets set to return to a full quota of eight doctors.

Due to a lack of doctors at the St Andrew Street based medical practice no new patients could register there.

However, Dalkeith Surgery practice manager Michelle Lyall told the Advertiser that she hopes that the patient list will be re-opened shortly, having a positive “knock on effect” to the five local surgeries which still have restrictions.

She said: “Things are a little more positive. By October we should be in a situation where we have full clinical staff. But that has taken a year.

“We will take a couple of months to see how we are coping with what we have got. A bit of breathing space, with a view to re-opening the list.

“This will have a knock on effect to the rest of Midlothian. Helping out the other surgeries with list restrictions.”

Ms Lyall thanked practice staff for their hard work: “We are lucky that we should be able to soon lift restrictions. As not everyone in Midlothian has been so lucky.

“So we are hoping to move things forward soon. We need to stabilise at the moment.

“It has been a really long hard time for the practice to try and keep the 10,000 patients happy.

“We have had lots of changes to deal with. But we are definitely seeing light at the end of the tunnel.

“It’s all been down to the staff. Their loyalty and dedication has got us into this positive position.”

Local councillor Margot Russell (Lab), who has called for a further meeting with the surgery, welcomed this news but still has concerns.

She said: “I’m glad they are up to speed with staff. But a lot of people already on the list are not getting seen. It’s the whole phone-in system that really needs clarified. Elderly people that are genuinely ill wanting home visits by a GP.

“I would still like a meeting. As I get feedback from the community that they possibly don’t know about.”

However Ms Lyall added:“I don’t know the benefits of seeing her again. It’s just been a case of using resources in a different way and people don’t necessarily like change.”