NHS Lanarkshire has concluded a successful selection process which will ensure the continuity of primary medical services to patients of Woodstock Medical Centre, Lanark.

In line with due process, a selection panel was convened on Friday 14 February 2020.

The outcome of that was to award the General Medical Services (GMS) contract to Lanarkshire Medical Group (LMG). The decision has now been ratified by the acting chief executive of NHS Lanarkshire.

This followed the decision in September 2019 by the existing GP partners at Woodstock Medical Centre to end their GMS contract with NHS Lanarkshire on 6 April 2020.

Dr Linda Findlay, Medical Director of South Lanarkshire Health and Social Care Partnership said: “The completion of this vital stage marks the attainment of NHS Lanarkshire’s primary objective, which has been for Woodstock Medical Centre to continue with new GPs providing primary medical services to patients in Lanark and providing ongoing employment of staff.

“The focus of NHS Lanarkshire is now on supporting the transition between the outgoing partners and Drs Rehman & Lal on behalf of LMG. A number of areas of work and discussions relating to the transition are now ongoing.

“We are in the process of communicating this information to staff, stakeholders and patients of the practice. We will also be assuring patients that NHS Lanarkshire is committed to working with LMG to provide services to everyone registered with the practice.

“In the meantime, the practice will continue to operate as normal with the continued support of NHS Lanarkshire and South Lanarkshire Health and Social Care Partnership to ensure the continued provision of general medical services to the people of Lanark going forward beyond 6 April 2020.”

Four patients from the practice were involved in the selection process. As part of the selection panel, these patients were able to scrutinise and seek assurances on how services will be delivered going forward. The decision to award the contract to LMG was unanimous across both the patient representatives and other panel members.

As well as the patients, the panel comprised of Michael Fuller, non-executive director, NHS Lanarkshire (chair); Craig Cunningham, head of commissioning and performance, South Lanarkshire H&SCP; Dr Linda Findlay, medical director, South Lanarkshire H&SCP and Dr Tyra Smyth, Lanarkshire area medical committee (GP sub-committee).

Dr Findlay added: “NHS Lanarkshire is also grateful to all who have supported this process, particularly the patient representatives on the selection panel.

“We would like to offer a sincere note of thanks to the existing GPs for the health care they have provided to the local community and the staff of Woodstock for their forbearance and ongoing commitment during this time.”