The sick parade – of GP closures. This list heralds the end of the health service as we knew it.

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 doctorssurgery 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 crisis

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 surgeryclosed 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

Joanna Hunt in the Worthing Herald 6th March 2015 reports – Patients are outraged at the “atrocious” way NHS England has handled the short notice closure of two GP surgeries.

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


Chris Smyth reports in The Times 27th Jan 2016: GP shortage hits thousands of patients 

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.







This entry was posted in A Personal View, General Practitioners, Rationing, Stories in the Media on by .

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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