Cockburnspath to lose its GP surgery

Cockburnspath medical practice which will close in August.
Cockburnspath medical practice which will close in August.

Eyemouth Medical Practice has told patients and NHS Borders that it will end its weekly GP service at Cockburnspath in August this year.

Poor access to the surgery because it was previously a residential property, unreliable IT provision, a national shortage of GPs, and concern about lone working by GPs are the reasons given for that decision.

In a letter to patients, Kirsty Robinson says: “We wish to reassure patients that the medical practice will continue to provide you with the usual general medical services from our other two premises in Coldingham and the newly-refurbished Eyemouth Health Centre.

“Both locations are accessible via public transport, and home visits, where deemed clinically appropriate, will continue to be provided.

“Over recent years, we have established an arrangement with the local shop to hand out dispensed prescription medication to patients who have signed up for this service.

“It is our intention to continue this service on a weekly basis following the closure of the surgery.”

NHS Borders medical director Cliff Sharp supported the GPs’ decision and added: “I appreciate that it may cause some anxiety for patients, who have been invited to discuss any questions or concerns they have regarding this decision with us here at NHS Borders by Friday, July 21, at publicinvolvement@borders.scot.nhs.uk”

Villagers knew their GP service was at risk, and in March this year, a representative of Cockburnspath and Cove Community Council told Scottish Borders Council’s then Berwickshire area forum that poor broadband in the village was threatening its once-a-week, half-an-hour GP surgery. GPs struggled to input information into their system at Cockburnspath, the council was told.