GP Services in East Kilbride – Update

Dr Lisa Cameron, SNP MP for East Kilbride, Strathaven and Lesmahagow, shared details of six letters she had written to Lanarkshire Health Board in connection to concerns about the practice dated between October 2020 and January 2023.

The Ferret has also seen a letter she wrote to cabinet secretary, Humza Yousaf, in July 2021 raising concerns about constituents struggling to access the practice.

Her constituency caseworker is currently dealing with complaints from 35 constituents.

The Ferret spoke to two patients of the practice who shared complaint letters raised about practices that are part of the Lanarkshire Medical Group. 

One progressed her complaint to the Scottish Ombudsman in August 2021. She received a reply a month later telling her the practice would now be in touch to discuss her complaint but has not heard anything since back. She said that while she was still unhappy about the service offered by her practice, she had “given up”.

Another claimed it was “almost impossible” to get through to the practice. She raised one complaint in 2022 and another this year due to repeated problems in getting repeat prescriptions, which she relies on for a range of health conditions.  

SNP MP Dr Lisa Cameron said “Many complaints are from constituents who tell me they can’t get through on the phone at all and others say they cannot obtain a face-to-face appointment.

“Those who have been offered an appointment after persistence, appear to often be told they have to see another practitioner, like a practice nurse, despite requesting and wanting to see a GP”.

She added: “The level of complaints indicate constituent concerns that are systemic and ongoing. NHS Lanarkshire do not appear to have adequately addressed this, despite my raising it repeatedly and I believe the same medical group have subsequently taken on more and more practices.

“I was told by NHS Lanarkshire managers, this is the way forward because the practice is multidisciplinary but my experience is constituents often can’t see a GP when they feel they need to clinically, which is extremely concerning to me.”