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Cornish GP practice hands back contract citing financial difficulties



GP partners at a practice in St Austell, Cornwall, are due to hand back their contract to NHS England citing financial difficulties.

As per NHS England procedure, the contract will now go out to tender in the hope to find another provider of GP services the 10,000 patients of the Polkyth Surgery.

The closure comes as Pulse’s Stop Practice Closures campaign has unveiled over 100 practices across England are at risk of closure due to the squeeze on GP funding. However the local area team said the practice closing was not due to ‘external funding arrangements’.

A notice on the practice’s website said: ‘We can confirm we will be ending our contract for GP services. We will remain open while NHS England put in alternative arrangements.’

‘Discussions are under way with other potential providers, with the aim of ensuring that patients notice as little difference as possible when our contact is transferred. Please be assured that there is nothing to worry about in terms of your continuing access to GP services.’

‘NHS England will inform you when the new contractor takes over. We apologise if this is unsettling, it is with great regret that we have decided to relinquish our contract, having made many friends and supported the community for so many years. We would like to thank you for your loyalty over that time. Thank you for your support.’

A spokesperson for NHS England’s Devon, Cornwall and Isles of Scilly area team said: ‘We can confirm that partners at the Polkyth Surgery in St Austell will be ending their contract for GP services. However, the surgery itself will remain open as usual while we work with the practice to put alternative arrangements in place to make sure patients are not affected.’

‘Discussions are already under way with another provider, with the aim of securing continuity of care and making the transition as smooth as possible. Patients can continue to make and take up appointments as usual during this time.’

The spokesperson added: ‘The practice has told us it has financial difficulties and therefore cannot continue with its contract. This is nothing to do with external funding arrangements or the minimum practice income guarantee, under which the practice gains.’

The GP partners at Polkyth Surgery could not be reached for a comment.