A SHORTAGE of doctors will result in the West Kilbride surgery being taken over by the NHS.

GP practices are private businesses working on behalf of the NHS to provide patient care.

That means, when a practitioner leaves or retires, it is their responsibility to find a replacement.

There are 55 such centres in Ayrshire, only one is under NHS control – the Three Towns Medical Practice in Stevenson.

Two of West Kilbride’s doctors announced they were leaving at the end of the month – and the practice has struggled to get people to take over their jobs.

A spokesperson for NHS Ayrshire and Arran told the Herald: “NHS Ayrshire & Arran and our partners in the Health and Social Care Partnerships are committed to ensuring that people have high quality access to local health and care services.

“Since experiencing recruitment difficulties in replacing GPs, NHS Ayrshire & Arran has been invited by the partners of West Kilbride Medical Practice to work with them in stabilising the Practice.

“By working together, NHS Ayrshire & Arran will offer full support to the partners to allow them to continue to provide clinical general medical services to their patients. Our support will involve assisting with placing locum doctors in the practice.

“This is short-term support and everyone involved fully expects the Practice to take back full responsibility as soon as possible..”