Senior doctors have issued a “distress call” to patients in a bid to help keep GP practices open, following what they have branded a “cultural and systematic neglect of general practice” by the Scottish Government.

The Lothian Local Medical Committee (LMC), the body representing GPs in Lothian, has told patients to contact their MSPs, saying it is the only way to resolve a “critical situation with less money, less doctors and less staff”

In an open letter to patients obtained by The Scotsman, titled ‘Why are your GP practices now unable to do everything they once were?’, doctors said they were now facing closures due to the crippling financial pressures of running a GP surgery in Scotland.

It comes as health secretary Neil Gray is set to face questions in a crunch session at Holyrood on Wednesday on the future of the NHS, with maintaining GP practices set to feature heavily in the discussion.

The LMS letter outlines a £1.6 million hike in facilities’ bills, a delay in a promised new funding model that better reflects GPs’ workloads, the axing of Government funding for non-GP staff pay rises, the cancellation of funding for new build premises and the withdrawal of sustainability loans.

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