GP shortage halts admissions to Lockhart Hospital in Lanark
A community hospital in Lanarkshire has closed its doors to new admissions due to a shortage of local doctors.
Lockhart Hospital in Lanark has 30 beds and provides acute medical care as well as rehabilitation and terminal care.
Patients are visited by consultants but day-to-day treatment is supervised by a local general practitioner (GP).
NHS Lanarkshire said recruitment issues meant locally-provided GP cover was "unsustainable" and "contingency arrangements" were being put in place.
Dr Iain Wallace, medical director, NHS Lanarkshire, said: "NHS Lanarkshire is currently working to identify possible solutions to maintain services at Lockhart Hospital.
"However, in light of the on-going GP recruitment and retention difficulties, it is necessary to establish contingency arrangements to ensure all patients receive safe care appropriate to their needs.
"Clinical assessments will be undertaken to plan alternative care arrangements for existing patients and no new patients will be admitted meantime to mitigate demand."
Dr Wallace added: "We are sorry for any inconvenience caused to patients, relatives and staff as a result of the current situation and would like to reassure people that the provision of safe care for patients will continue to be our priority.
"We are engaging with patients, relatives and staff to discuss the current position and to provide updates on an on-going basis."