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RCGP calls for £15m bailout for at-risk GP practices

The RCGP has called on the Government to put in place a £15m bailout to save at-risk GP practices from closure amid funding reforms.

Upto 100 GP practices - covering about 700,000 patients across England - could close within months largely because of ‘catastrophic’ reductions in funding linked to the scrapping of the minimum practice income guarantee (MPIG), it said.

The RCGP added that many of these practices serve deprived inner-city or remote communities, including 15 practices in the London boroughs of Tower Hamlets and Hackney alone. Other regions with surgeries at risk include Essex, Leicester, Sheffield and Cumbria, but RCGP wants the Government to guarantee that ‘no practice will be shut’ as a result of MPIG losses.

The RCGP said the size of the ‘emergency stability fund’ would need to be ‘about £15 million’, and as reviously reported, the RCGP also wants overall funding of general practice to grow from 8.4% of the current NHS budget to 11% by 2017.

RCGP honorary secretary Professor Nigel Mathers said: ‘The fact that up to 100 practices are facing imminent closure at a time when general practice across the UK is in crisis is catastrophic. The severe underinvestment in GP services means that many practices have been relying on MPIG funding just to keep going. Rather than robbing Peter to pay Paul, the Government should be ensuring that general practices gets the investment it needs to provide safe patient care across the whole country.’

Readers' comments (7)

  • Are they listening,I doubt it.

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  • Rome is burning and RCGP ask for bucket of water!

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  • If the government wanted to save the NHS they would already have invested in General Practice. Unfortunately the only thing invested in GP has been time scapegoating and undermining us. The political agenda is clear... GPs can expect reduced funding for spiraling demand until the government breaks the NHS and gets the media to blame us.

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  • The amount of funding for primary care in the UK is about 50% of what Dave Nick and their chums now spend on overseas aid

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  • The RCGP should also not forget the significant number of PMS practices who have a MPIG equivalent who might with the looming PMS reviews lose the funding more acutely than the 7 years given to GMS practices. so the crisis is more acute and worse than the RCGP thinks. The original plan was to allow the MPIG to erode as the global sum increased and this would have had less of an impact on practice viability . It appears now the plan is to cut the MPIG rather than let it erode over time which is putting practices in a precarious position. The personal and financial impact for practices most of which are partnership and have no limited liability will be devastating . The RCGP and the BMA as well as the government need to understand you can't run a practice on current demand and expectation levels on the equivalent of pre 2004 funding which is what will happen with MPIG cuts and a downgraded Qof. Stop asking for small change in bailouts and come up with a REAL alternative for practices. Or watch the profession burn.

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  • We are going bankrupt seeing 40+ patients each,every day. There is something seriously wrong with our negotiators, letting us lot go to the wall. The Musketeer philosophy does not extend to the GPC. The galling thing is they are trying to recruit more GPs to go through the same fate!! I think this has become so absurdly illogical that I must be mad since everyone else seems so sane watching from the sidelines when the DOH puts us to the sword going back on MPIG.

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  • Is it the RCGP job to demand more money- I thought it was about support and education of GPs
    Shouldn't the BMA be doing this??

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