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GPs go forth

Am I the only GP who has informally closed their list?

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I read about a GP that did something to his list recently. I think he closed it in order to safeguard his sanity and the health of his current patients. From what I remember the response from the media and the public has been nothing but positive and his current patients are all extremely relieved their care will not be jeopardised in the future.  

Alright - that GP was me. But - and I know this sounds crazy - there’s been a big black SUV following me around on home visits since the media furore yesterday. I can see two men in sunglasses sitting in the front.

Maybe it’s following me. But maybe I’m just paranoid.

Since I informally closed my list  there hasn’t been much of a response from NHS England so far other than a curt email asking if the news was true and we had closed our list.  I replied no, and that they were informally closed, and sent them the relevant regulations that were in the BMA document Quality first: Managing workload to deliver safe patient care’.  They haven’t been back to us since.

I was feeling a bit lonely having stuck my head above the parapet until the move was covered in the press. Then GPs across the country sent messages of support on Twitter. It was all rather heart-warming.

Hold on, there’s a call from reception.  Apparently there are two men in suits to see me.  Oh dear, this doesn’t bode well.  

I hear their footsteps coming up the corridor. The door opens and in they walk.

They introduce themselves as Agent Richard Vautrey and Agent Tom Black - and it turns out they are actually from the BMA.

We talk in hushed tones about what must follow this informal list closure. They advise an informal list closure declaration is legally watertight but should really be followed by an application for formal closure - a belt and braces approach. Then they leave as suddenly as they arrived. I get the feeling I’m not going to be alone in this for much longer.

 Dr Hadrian Moss is a GP in Kettering, Northamptonshire. You can tweet him at @DrHMoss.

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Readers' comments (7)

  • Vinci Ho

    Salute , Hadrian
    While Gordon is definitely our Gandalf , you can be either our Aragorn or Frodo!

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  • so the gpc guidance was really just hot air. How much are the other parts of it are too? What wimps! I dispair. The problem is our contract is so vague and unilateral that anything we do can potentially be a breach! I thought of an informal closure too but if this is the support I'd expect then forget it! The only solution to our mess is if we all informally closed or we all refused to do something. That is the only way to avoid a "breach". But we are all too scared and too institutionalised to do anything. So keep plodding along until it's impossible to plod along and then we will all fall flat on our faces.

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  • The pressure is on all doctors and nurses across the western world. We are slowly losing autonomy and will be forced to work like robots in a big business controlled global $7 trillion health care industry. Meetings are already taking place across the world. Political leaders from most western countries meet in secret with multinational health companiy CEOs.

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  • I work in an area where all but a handful of practices have closed their lists informally -- the reception staff say they cant take the patient on and direct them to the nearby practices that are. We proved this by setting up a secret shopper, interestingly when she was dressed in a scruffy tracksuit she was less likely to get accepted than when formally dressed. Their is also a massive variation in practices taking on patients from nursing homes. Evryone knows it happens no one does anything.

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  • Dr Moss you have the cahunas that our profession sadly lacks,I salute you.

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  • No Dr Moss, you aren't the only one. You definitely are one of those who has had his arm twisted.
    I was declined list closure and then informally advised how to manage my list by the LMC and KPCA. However, my recent rent uplift has a statement which stresses that if I put in an application for list closure in future my rent uplift may be withdrawn !!!! How legal is that and that is why I call this attitude as ' mafia tactics'.
    My whole-hearted sympathy and support for your struggle. Count me in if you come up with some joint action ideas. Best of luck!

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  • 1984

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