'Open but full' GP lists not allowed
GPs are to be barred from running 'open but full' lists to ensure there are no barriers to patients registering with a practice.
Practices will either have to be open to all patients or closed entirely. Procedures for practices to close or re-open their lists will also be simplified as part of the changes.
The decision unilaterally alters GPs' contracts, which included the right to refuse to register patients who live outside of the practice boundary. It also robs practices of one of their main methods of managing patient demand.
Dr Richard Vautrey, GPC negotiator, said the GPC wanted to discuss the decision with the department.
He said: 'Our expectation is that the situation should continue. If we just had open and closed lists, practices would simply close [their list] and patients would be a lot worse off in the long run.'