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Consultation to be Held on Proposed Closure of Blair Atholl Branch Surgery

Hospital Clinic Waiting Room Chairs  - doilersanjuan / Pixabay

A consultation is set to be carried out by the Atholl Medical Centre regarding the proposal they made last year to close the branch surgery in Blair Atholl.

Patients in the catchment area for the branch surgery will receive a letter and some FAQs, with comment boxes being placed in the two stores in the village.

When asked about the consultation Lavinia Peebles the Practice Manager for the Atholl Medical Centre said: “I can confirm we are in the final stages of completing the consultation process and all patients in the Blair Atholl catchment area will be sent a letter and FAQs.

“The FAQs will be posted on our website and Facebook page as well. There will be comment boxes placed in a number of locations for any comments during August and these will then be analysed by the Perth & Kinross HSCP. We are hoping to get the letters out within the next few days.”

The Blair Atholl and Struan Community Council confirmed the consultation and informed the community that there will be comment boxes in the stores and that they had asked for these and that the Secretary Viv Cree will be collecting the responses from the boxes and returning them to the Medical Centre on a weekly basis.

The Blair Atholl Surgery has closed since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, with the Atholl Medical Centre proposing last year with a note in the Quair saying: “Unfortunately during the pandemic the premises have sustained significant damage from damp and dilapidation making the site even less suitable for any clinical use.”

Going on they say: “Over the past few years the doctors have had increasing concerns regarding the general suitability of the branch surgery premises, and about the safety of working alone in the building in the event of a medical or other emergency situation.”

The proposal further reads “Additionally, the lack of applicants following the last three GPs leaving/retiring from the practice means the remaining partners at Atholl Medical Centre are significantly understaffed and would struggle to meet the demands of the eventual reopening of the branch surgery.”

“Having carefully considered all the factors, the partners have sadly concluded that the practice would find it almost impossible to provide services from the branch surgery again. We are therefore making a proposal for it to close.”

Finishing up they write “After many years of providing services at the branch surgery, we have not reached this conclusion lightly. We are very aware that this will be a significant loss for Blair Atholl.”

The issue regarding the closure has been discussed at length by the Community and the Community Council, who now have a chance to have their say.

Information regarding the consultation will be available soon.

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