SOME Wee County residents may be moved to a new GP surgery as the planned takeover of Dr Stirling and Partners progresses.

NHS Forth Valley confirmed earlier this year it would have to intervene as long-term servants at the practice announced plans to leave or retire.

The surgery, which is based at the Clackmannanshire Community Healthcare Centre in Sauchie, has struggled to recruit new GPs for the last few years.

And with the health board continuing to prepare for next month's takeover, patients are being warned that they may be reassigned to another practice in the county.

Officials insist any transfers are to ensure the surgery, to be renamed Hallpark Medical Practice from May 1, will remain open to the community.

A spokesperson said: "NHS Forth Valley is reviewing the current practice list and catchment area to match it to the staffing resources available.

"Around 8,500 patients are currently registered with the practice and the majority are expected to remain. However, there are plans to transfer a number of local patients to the two other Alloa GP practices based in Clackmannanshire Community Healthcare Centre.

"Arrangements are also being made to transfer a number of patients who live out-with Alloa to other GP practices nearer to their homes which have indicated they have capacity to register additional patients.

"These changes will ensure the practice list is a size which can be managed by the new workforce currently being recruited and is also likely to be more attractive to GPs who may be interested in taking over the running of the practice in the future."

NHS Forth Valley has been taking forward plans to recruit GPs and other healthcare staff to work at the practice, with some positions already in place. Other posts are in the process of being advertised, including a new permanent full-time GP.

Two other doctors, currently employed by the health board, will be redeployed to work at the practice on a part-time basis, while Dr Stirling confirmed he would stay on until the end of June 2018 to ease the transition.

All nursing, administrative and reception staff currently employed by Dr Stirling & Partners will transfer to work for NHS Forth Valley and continue to work at the practice.

NHS Forth Valley plans to advertise Dr Stirling & Partners as a vacant Practice to enable a group of GPs interested in forming a new partnership take over its management in the future.

In addition, NHS Forth Valley is working with the two Alloa GP practices to review their current catchment areas and identify patients who could be re-registered with another practice which is actually closer to their home address.

Mental health nursing and pharmacy support has been secured for the practice and there are also plans to recruit a number of additional healthcare professionals, including advanced nurse practitioners and community paramedics, to increase access to a wider range of services and support.