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GPs to march over funding cuts

GPs and patients in east London will go on a march this Thursday to protest against budget cuts for practices in deprived areas.

The ‘Save Our Surgeries’ march will start at 2.30pm at the St Katherines Dock Practice, near Tower Bridge, and finish at 6.10pm at the Kingsley Hall Community Centre in Bow, passing 11 Tower Hamlets GP practices affected by contractual funding swings along the way.

The march is organised by the Jubilee Street Practice, a top-five ‘outlier’ practice which is under threat to become the first practice to close down as a result of MPIG losses and other funding swings suffered from 1 April, and endorsed by Londonwide LMCs.

Practice manager Virginia Patania said: ‘We are doing everything we can to raise the pressure every way possible for something to be done for the losing practices, a large proportion of which are east London [practices] with a high level of deprivation and massive MPIG removals. That is the reason for the march and it is being supported by the BMA, GPC and it may hopefully be something that raises awareness of these issues further yet.’

It comes after Pulse revealed last week that NHS England is prepared to allow some practices to close as a result of its ‘equitable funding’ strategy. Pulse also revealed that no area team in England has committed to offer financial support to practices despite NHS England’s previous promises to protect ‘outliers’ through measures such as commissioning extra services from them.