There is an increasing sick parade of GP practices throughout the country. It may be worst in the North East and Wales, but it is endemic and generalised. It is probably too late to save the old GP model now, as there are so many GPs needed, and with retirement, leavers, part timers and locums, the numbers cannot be made up in time. Suffolk needs 300 more and Wales 400 more and that’s just 7% of the UK. The combination of entries listed below heralds the end of the health service as we knew it. As Chris Smyth reports in The Times 27th Jan 2016: GP shortage hits thousands of patients (see text at end of this post)
The West Briton 26th Jan 2016 – Cardrew Health Centre closure “devastating news” for Redruth
Tavistock Times Gazette 23rd Jan 2016 – Tensions run high at Okement Surgery public meeting
Nottingham Post 22nd Jan – Planned closure of GP surgery labelled ‘appalling”
The Sussex Argus 22nd Jan 2016 – Funding row led to health group withdrawing running from five Brighton surgeries
Noth Ormesby Gazette 22nd Jan 2016 – Patients ‘very worried’ about potential closure of North Ormesby and Eston Grange walk-in centres
The Express and Star Jan 21st 2016 – Public meetings on future of Dudley GP surgeries
The Daily Update 18th Jan 2016 – Surgeries in parts of Suffolk need 33% increase in GP numbers to cope with patient demand
The Coventry Telegraph 16th Jan 2016 – Thousands of patients forced to find new GP after Coventry surgery announces closure
The Bradford Telegraph and Argus 15th Jan 2016 – Closure of Bradford doctors‘ surgery would be ‘disaster’ for thousands of patients in deprived area ..
The Epping Gazette 14th Jan 2016 – Angry patients have worst fears confirmed after surgery is “closed by stealth”
The Cambridgeshire News 8th Jan 2016 – Closure of surgeries to new patients show Cambridgeshire GPs are ‘facing a real crisishttp://www.bedfordshire-news.co.uk/Lansdowne-Road-8203-GP-closure-doctors-ordered/story-28391499-detail/story.htmlhttp://www.bedfordshire-news.co.uk/Lansdowne-Road-8203-GP-closure-doctors-ordered/story-28391499-detail/story.html
Nursing in Practice 6th Jan 2016 – Practice list closure applications rise by 100
The Echo 20th December 2015 – GP surgery threatened with closure if it fails to improve within six months and Third Denbighshire GP surgery to close after doctor resigns from Betsi Cadwaladr contract
Bedforshire on Sunday 19th December 2015 reports – Major Bedford GP practice ‘unable to replace doctors’ terminates NHS contract
The Daily News 18th December 2016 – Reigate MP concerned over possible South Park Medical Practice closure
BBC News 10th December 2015 – Donegal surgery ‘closed for months’ after flooding
East Anglian Daily Times 18th October 2015 – Inquiries into closure of two Lowestoft GP surgeries
Northumberland Gazette 16th October 2015 – Harbuttle Surgery to reopen but some question marks still remain
Norfolk EDP 15th October 2015 – Two GP surgeries are closed by court order ‘with immediate effect’ for first time in East Anglia
News North Wales 13th October 2015 – Plans drawn up for Prestatyn after closure of two GP practices
East London and West Essex Guardian 13th October 2016 – Surgery’s walk-in service facing closure
Daily Post 9th October 2015 – Blueprint for Prestatyn GP surgery cover being drawn up after two practices announced plans to shut
The Huffington Post 3rd July 2015 – 43 GP Practices Close After Funding Reform Prompting Fears Of A ‘Quiet Crisis’ In The NHS
In BBC News 17th April 2015 – Two GP surgeries close in Rugby, Warwickshire
Essex County Standard 13th March 2015 – Villagers left in limbo over closing GP surgery and Thurrock Labour slam loss of Tilbury GP surgery
The Sheffield Star 16th March 2016 – Thausands sign petition against Sheffield surgery funding changes
The Lincolnite 11th March 2015 – Burton Road GP surgery saved after closure threat
Patients are outraged at the “atrocious” way NHS England has handled the short notice closure of two GP surgeries.
Albert Street Medical Centre in Rugby and Brownsover Medical Practice, in Bow Fell, Brownsover, will close on April 17 when the NHS contracts comes to an end.
The Independent 3rd March 2015 – 500% increase in GP practises seeking advice on closure
169 GP surgeries contacted NHS England between April and December last year for advice on closing
Pulse 25th February 2015 – GPs offered £25 per patient they register after practice closure leaves thousands without a GP
The Kidwelly Star reports 19th Jan 2015 – Hywel Dda University Health Board takes on new GPs at Kidwelly surgery, as the practice keeps going under “special measures”.
Pulse reports 16th April 2014 – GP practice sets ‘red button’ closure date after losing MPIG funding
Two hundred thousand patients were forced to move GP surgery last year, a four-fold increase since 2013.
Dozens of surgeries have closed as family doctors either gave up or merged with other practices to cope with a shortage of GPs, official figures show.
Doctors warned that elderly or vulnerable patients were being left without care as surgeries shut. Maureen Baker, chairwoman of the Royal College of GPs, warned of a “genuine danger to patient safety” as a result of overstretched GPs.
In 2013, 11 GP practices closed and a further nine closed after mergers, forcing 43,649 patients to find a new doctor or travel further to keep their existing one.
Those figures surged over the next two years. Last year 31 practices closed entirely and 41 shut surgeries as part of mergers, displacing 206,269 patients, according to NHS England figures given to Pulse magazine.
Roger Goss, of Patient Concern, said that closures “can be very disruptive because the majority of patients are older and less mobile”.
Jeremy Hunt, the health secretary, has promised to recruit thousands more doctors and pump £2 billion into the GP system over the next five years.
However, Richard Vautrey, deputy chairman of the British Medical Association’s GP committee, said that there was a crisis now. “It’s becoming increasingly difficult for small practices to cope with rising levels of bureaucracy and manage their workload,” he added.