SOME 60 people were at a “stormy” public meeting held to discuss the future of the patients at 101 Medical Practice in Troon.

Last month, Dave Dewar and Cllr Peter Convery, acting as a member of the public, launched a petition to save the surgery from its “crisis situation”, which so far has received over 1,000 signatures.

At the meeting on Wednesday, February 28, held at Marr College, it emerged that the two remaining practices had approached the health board with a view to “take over” the patients at 101 and to add a £200,000 extension onto Templehill Surgery, with an additional three doctors being employed.

Patients were also told that it was “administratively impossible” to give them a choice of what surgery they were assigned to, however, once everything had “settled down”, they “could be allowed to move”.

Mr Dewar, told us: “The outcome was that [Ayrshire & Arran Health Board] refused to budge – they didn’t answer questions. I have meet with John Scott MSP and we are asking for an urgent meeting with Shona Robinson, the Health Minister, about the chaos happening with the surgery.

“What is particularly stressing the people, is that they can’t choose their doctor. The 6,000 people are not being able to choose what surgery they can go to – I think that is possibly illegal. People are quite concerned because it isn’t fair – they are deciding by surname and household.

“The other issue is that the health board are going to be spending £200,000 on an extension one of the surgeries – so they’ll spend £200,000 on that but nothing on keeping a lovely building like 101 open? It doesn’t make sense and it will take two years just to get planning permission.”

Cllr Bob Pollock, added: “The turnout at the public meeting was excellent and I would like to thank all the members of the public who braved the wintry weather to make their concerns known about the closure of the 101 Practice. 

“Like all the Troon councillors, I have been campaigning to try and keep the surgery, which has served the town so well for many years, open. However, having listened to officers from the Health Board, and in particular to the experiences of a GP whose surgery found itself in similar circumstances, it is clear that is no longer a viable option. 

“Whilst this may be deeply upsetting to existing patients, this decision is made on both clinical and business grounds, which the practitioners believe will be in the best long-term interests of patients. 

“Now that keeping 101 Surgery open is no longer open every effort must be made to ensure that the transition of patients to their new surgeries goes ahead as smoothly as possible, and with no detriment to health provision. 

“It was acknowledged at the meeting that communication between the Health Board and patients had been poor to date and this must be improved if patients are going to have any confidence in the process. A number of concerns were raised in relation to choice of surgeries, transfer of records, waiting times, special needs and these must be addressed as a matter of urgency.”

John Scott MSP said: “The clock is ticking and we’re now just four weeks out from NHS Ayrshire and Arran taking over the management of the practice for what they say will be ‘a limited time.'

"That’s simply not good enough and we need a plan from the local Health Board that guarantees the long-term future of the practice.”

The practice will be taken over by NHS Ayrshire & Arran from April 1.