London GP services crisis pending… Overseas doctors will probably fill the vacancies. Watch for private GPs and Private A&E departments in the capital…

London GP services crisis pending… Overseas doctors will probably fill the vacancies… Successive Governments have not planned for anything else. So it’s a high probability that you won’t be able to communicate with your doctor, who will not be trained in the UK, or have a cultural appreciation of “where you come from”. Welcome to the poor manpower planning of short termism and a perverse incentive to fail to plan more than 4 years ahead. Implosion continues… It won’t be long before many British citizens are seeking private GPs and Private A&E departments…

GPonline 6th July 2015 reports: London faces GP crisis as scores of practices face closure …

Pulse reports 15th July 2015: Scores more practices plan for closure as at-risk tally hits …

Press TV reports 6th July: UK capital GP surgeries under threat of closure

Scores of General Practice (GP) surgeries in London are under the threat of closure amid a rise in the shortage of family doctors in the UK capital city, according to a new study.

The threat is expected to displace hundreds of thousands of “refugee patients” as an estimated 140 of the nearly 1,400 GP surgeries in London are expected to shut within the next three years.

The survey by Londonwide Local Medical Committees (LMCs) shows 656 GP surgeries have already closed since 2010, triggering concern for patients who are familiar with their local GP.

The study shows 43 of the 431 surgeries polled were considering giving back their contracts with the National Health Service (NHS) due to the retirements seen across the board. The data shows 302 of the 431 practices expect at least one retirement by 2018 while 53% are already attempting to recruit a replacement for them.

The chief executive of Londonwide LMCs, which represents GPs and surgeries in 27 of 32 London boroughs, Michelle Drage, says, “This is a three-year time bomb. In the next three years, London could lose as many as 10% of its GP practices. For patients, that is an unsustainable rate of loss.”

The research warns that if the 43 practices did in fact terminate their NHS contracts, an estimated 337,979 patients would lose their GP and be made to look further away for medical help.

“Patients will get new GPs who they have to start to get to know, and they’ll see practices that are even more stretched than they already are. And there will be added stress on GPs and practice nurses who have to deal with patients who have been displaced – refugee patients. They end up moving around local surgeries and having to tell their stories all over again because a practice they have been with for many years has suddenly shut because the doctor has gone,” said Drage.

Meanwhile, a spokesman from the Department of Health has said, “All NHS patients wanting to register with a GP practice are guaranteed to be able to do so. As GPs move to create wider networks of care. However, there is also no doubt that we also need to increase the investment in general practice, boost GP numbers and expand team working.”

 

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About Roger Burns - retired GP

I am a retired GP and medical educator. I have supported patient participation throughout my career, and my practice, St Thomas; Surgery, has had a longstanding and active Patient Participation Group (PPG). I support the idea of Community Health Councils, although I feel they should be funded at arms length from government. I have taught GP trainees for 30 years, and been a Programme Director for GP training in Pembrokeshire 20 years. I served on the Pembrokeshire LHG and LHB for a total of 10 years. I completed an MBA in 1996, and I along with most others, never had an exit interview from any job in the NHS! I completed an MBA in 1996, and was a runner up for the Adam Smith prize for economy and efficiency in government in that year. This was owing to a suggestion (St Thomas' Mutual) that practices had incentives for saving by being allowed to buy rationed out services in the following year.

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