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Independents' Day

One in three GPs predict closure by 2020 unless seven-day plans are scrapped

A third of GPs believe that their practice will stop providing services to patients by 2020, according to new research.

A survey of GPs, carried out by think-tank Ockham Healthcare, further found that 90% believe the introduction of seven-day routine access to general practice will only worsen the current crisis.

In a new paper, the think-tank said that an ‘urgent response’ was needed the situation and called on the Government to abandon its seven-day access plans and begin to listen to GPs.

Like Pulse’s long-running Stop Practice Closures campaign, it also called for additional funding to be released to GP practices.

Survey respondent Dr Tom Evans, a GP in Northamptonshire, said: ’There are simply not enough GPs for us to take this on right now. Increasing workload and the inability to recruit colleagues meant that I almost had to close the surgery. I am not alone.’

Ockham Healthcare director and former NHS chief executive Ben Gowland said many GPs feel ‘unable to carry on’ under current pressures.

He said: ’More than 70% of GPs say they are extremely concerned about the problems their practice is currently facing.

’Urgent action is needed to reverse the spiral of decline that general practice is in or we may be the generation that witnesses the end of general practice as we know it today.’

The findings comes amid revelations that tens of thousands of patients have already lost their GP practice to date in 2016, with new reports of closures almost daily.

Last month, LMCs voted for the GPC to look into staging mass resignations by GPs unless the Government comes up with a credible rescue deal within six months.


Readers' comments (5)

  • I am ready to sign an undated resignation letter now. Why wait? My practice is on the edge now. We need the BMA to present us with an alternative model post resignation.

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  • Quick! Tell the Daily Mail and the BBC! This could make the 1 O'clock news and the front page tomorrow if we rush.

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  • It only becomes a problem if there is no GP practice to take on extra patients when a practice closes. I have not heard of this happening anywhere in the UK.

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  • So the government will just sit back and let financial capital forces put pressure on GP practices until finally there is no longer any GP practice that will take on new patients, despite major pressure from NHSE.

    That will be the time that the government becomes worried.

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  • The flaw in the plan is that bankrupt GPs will not be fit to work in the 'new plan'. They will be bitter and ill and likely to need care themselves.

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