Members of the Edinburgh Integration Joint Board (EIJB) have announced plans to expand GP services in the south east of the city.

The local population is expected to increase over the next five years, with around 200 homes a year planned for the Gilmerton area, and the EIJB will shortly submit a business case to NHS Lothian outlining how they plan to meet this demand.

This will include an option to invest £7-£10m towards a circa 1,700sqm building in the area to accommodate a brand new GP practice, featuring spaces for a Community Treatment Mental Health Hub and Locality Community Services. Such a facility will be considered alongside alternative ideas, including the reprovision of existing practices.

Commenting the Chair of the Edinburgh Integration Joint Board Angus McCann said: “Edinburgh’s population has increased by 65,000 people over the last 10 years and it’s only expected to grow, particularly in the South East. This will undoubtedly place greater pressure on those GP services which already serve this part of the city and, while we’ve already worked very hard to increase capacity for new patients, this is an opportunity to look ahead and plan for the long-term.

“In line with our Strategic Plan for improving health and social care in the city, this report outlines our ambitions for keeping pace with growth on the South side of the city and what we believe is a real opportunity for us to consider a modern facility which is fit for the future. It’s an approach we will continue to take across the board, as we proactively plan for population growth so that the most efficient health and social care services are in place.”

After being agreed by the Board this week (Tuesday 22 October), an initial agreement for Edinburgh South East GP capacity provision will be submitted to a future meeting of NHS Lothian’s Capital Investment Group for consideration.