Medical practice set to expand

GP Iain Morrison pictured outside the new medical centre at Sixth St, Newtongrange set to open next year.
GP Iain Morrison pictured outside the new medical centre at Sixth St, Newtongrange set to open next year.

It is hoped the new surgery opening next year in Newtongrange will have a knock-on effect and alleviate closed patient lists across the county.

The new practice at the old health clinic off Sixth Street will accommodate two doctors at a time and up to 4000 patients. Due to open next Spring, it will be run by nearby Newbattle Medical Practice, which has 16,500 patients and has recently taken on four new GPs to take its staff to 17 GPs.

Ian Morrison, a GP at Newbattle said: “This is a reasonable way to try and tackle the expanding population locally.

“Our current building is completely full with all the rooms taken, this gives us four additional rooms.

“We have now been able to open up our list which will take pressure off other local practices as well. We anticipated quite a shift with word of mouth, now we are happy to be a bit more public about the list being re-opened. Hopefully it will alleviate pressure on surrounding practices.

“Newtongrange is a welcome development in terms of trying to address population growth, but it is a short to medium-term solution.

“The Midlothian Health and Social Care partnership is looking to the future in terms of dealing with more homes being built here.”

Dr Morrison is delighted with his practice’s recent recruitment drive which has seen it take on 200 new patients since it re-opened its patient list last month. He said: “We have been very lucky to have been successful, we are still looking to recruit more in anticipation of growth.

“It’s difficult to try to attract new GPs to a practice that’s really struggling, they don’t want a huge workload, so that should be easier now.

“Nationally there is a lot of concern with general practices, we are in the midst of a real recruitment crisis, but we have been quite fortunate in terms of being able to recruit.

“We try to treat our GPs very well, we are able to offer a varied mix of what they do.

“We have got a very broad demographic of patients, lots of interesting cases.

“Because we are large we can offer good packages to GPs as well as flexibility which is important.”