Following the recent announcement that the Health Centre is losing its GP, Angus MP Dave Doogan and Angus South MSP Graeme Dey met with NHS Tayside and the Angus Health and Social Care Partnership to raise issues expressed by patients.
They discussed potential solutions with health officials and conveyed the concerns of constituents who are worried about the future of primary health care services in the village, which serves 3585 patients.
The crisis comes as the last remaining GP is to step down and, despite advertising for two years, health bosses have been unable to recruit another GP.
Mr Doogan said: “The deep concerns of patients at this moment is well understood and many local constituents have contacted me concerned over what the future of healthcare in Friockheim will look like.
“All work is in pursuit of a solution which aims to retain GP services within Friockheim. Graeme Dey and I have stressed to NHS Tayside the need to keep patients updated directly when there is progress to report.”
Mr Dey said that he found it encouraging that the preferred option of the health authority and partnership is to avoid the centre’s permanent closure, which would force patients living in the area to register with other practices. Campaigners have said this would disadvantage patients who would have difficulty travelling further afield.
He said: “I am encouraged by the fact the preferred option of NHS Tayside’s Primary Care Team and Angus Health and Social Care Partnership is entirely in line with the outcome being sought by patients of the practice – the maintaining of GP provision within Friockheim.
“Whether they can achieve that, and what ultimately emerges is a like for like replication of what’s presently in place, will be dependent on a range of factors and there is a great deal of work to be done in a relatively short space of time. What’s clear after our meeting is that the pros and cons of all options are being explored and a hierarchy of desired outcomes, based upon patient need and sustainability, is at play within that.”