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NHS Highland to take on Riverbank Medical Practice on permanent basis

28th March 2014

From April, Riverbank Medical Practice in Thurso will become a salaried practice run by NHS

The practice, which has a patient list of 6000, has been managed by NHS Highland since December 2012 but
advertising for an individual or group to take over the practice was not successful so the Board will now take on
responsibility for the practice on a permanent basis.

Fiona Duff, NHS Highland’s primary care manager for the area, said: “It is unusual for a health board to run a
GP practice as big as Riverbank, but we were in unusual circumstances.

“We have worked hard to ensure that the practice continued to provide a high-quality service. The locums have
been doing a brilliant job and the staff have really rallied round.”

The practice, which is currently staffed by four practice nurses, seven administrative and secretarial staff, and
has GP cover provided by a small team of regular locums, will become a salaried practice from 01 April and
NHS Highland will start advertising shortly after looking for permanent salaried GPs.

Ms Duff said: “Despite the difficulty in filling vacancies in remote and rural areas, we want to reassure patients
that every effort will be made to attract suitable applications.

“We will also ensure that the Patient Participation Group (PPG) is involved in the process. It is important that
we heed what the patients themselves want for the practice, which is why the PPG will have an important role
to play going forward and their assistance is central to the continuing development of the practice.”

Frank Stephen, Chair of the Patient Participation Group, said: “The PPG see this as a positive step and in the
interests of the patients of the Riverbank Practice. We look forward to the security which permanent doctors will
bring to the practice."


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The Riverbank Practice Patient Participation Group (RPPPG) is undertaking a survey to obtain patients views on the current provision of services at the Practice.   The survey will take place between Monday 21st October 2013, through to Friday 15th November 2013, inclusive.