TRANENT Medical Practice has taken the decision to stop taking advanced bookings for GP appointments.

From Monday, appointments to see a doctor will only be given on the day.

In a statement posted online, the practice said: “The step is being taken as a result of an ongoing shortage of GPs within the practice, which is due to a combination of sickness and recruitment issues.

"The difficulty in recruiting GPs is a nationwide issue which has been covered in the media recently and is not just affecting Tranent.

“Patient safety remains our highest priority and the practice would like to assure our patients that anyone who has a medically urgent issue will continue to be dealt with in an appropriate timescale.

“We very much regret having to take this step, as we understand many patients prefer the convenience of being able to book appointments in advance.

"However, the circumstances that we are currently facing make it impossible for us to provide this service.

"We are working to resolve our GP resourcing difficulties, both in the short and long term, and our intention is to restore the advance appointment service as soon as circumstances allow.”

Advanced bookings will still be available with the practice nurse, healthcare assistants and phlebotomist.