PATIENTS at a Borders GP's surgery have been told there is uncertainty about the future of the practice as the service faces recruitment and retention issues.

The Merse Medical Practice in Chirnside is experiencing "significant challenges" in recruiting and retaining staff which has made staffing at the site in Chirnside, as well as the one in Duns, difficult.

According the partners at Merse Medical Practice, one salaried GP has recently left the practice and a partner is due to retire next year - the practice has been looking for a replacement partner, however, has been unsuccessful so far.

Dr Alison Brown, GP partner at Merse Medical Practice said: “We are working closely with colleagues at NHS Borders to explore these issues, and what options are available to provide the best possible service to our entire practice population going forward.”

Health bosses from NHS Borders have said that community engagement on the sustainability of the Chirnside practice is key to its future.

Cathy Wilson, general manager for Primary and Community Services at NHS Borders said: “Patients who are registered with Merse Medical Practice have been sent a letter advising them of the Partner’s concerns about the sustainability of the Chirnside Branch Surgery. 

"I understand their concerns.

“It is important that we now explore the issues and assess available options in order to provide the best possible service for patients.

“Patient and community involvement in this process is vital, and I have written to all patients inviting their comments and suggestions. I am also looking for volunteers to be involved in the group who will progress this work.”

The deadline for community feedback is Monday, August 22.

This can be provided by:

  • Phoning 0800 731 4052, free of charge (you may need to leave a message)
  • Email to:
  • Post to: Public Involvement, Communications & Engagement, Education Centre, Borders General Hospital, Melrose, TD6 9BD

Updates will be posted on the Merse Medical Practice website: and on