MSP Kenneth Gibson has welcomed the the news that a new GP has been appointed at the West Kilbride Medical Practice.

The doctor is due to join the practice on January 1 in a post which is being funded for two years by the Scottish Government’s GP Recruitment and Retention Fund.

NHS Ayrshire and Arran, who currently run the practice, are in the process of advertising the practice inviting tender bids by GP partnerships to take over.

The closing date for applications is 5 January 2018.

Mr Gibson said: “Since taking over West Kilbride Medical Practice in August, the NHS has made significant progress which they should really be commended for. It is encouraging to see some stability return to the surgery in the form of a new GP and the initiation of the tendering process.

“I have been reassured by the NHS that, if no bid were to be successful, there is no intention whatsoever to close the practice or to change it in any other way. Hopefully this will reassure patients and practice staff alike that any rumours to the contrary were untrue.

Joy Brahim, SNP Councillor for West Kilbride, added: “The Medical Practice has survived a sustained period of challenges and I am glad it continues to benefit from funding and development programmes offered by the SNP Government.

“The new GP contract that the British Medical Association negotiated with the SNP Government will enable GPs to focus on being GPs, by giving a greater role to occupational therapists, pharmacists and practice nurses while reducing the financial risks associated with runningsurgeries, making general practice a more attractive option.”