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MPs call for fund to support struggling practices

MPs are calling for the Government to launch a ‘strategic fund’ to support small, rural practices struggling with MPIG losses with an early day motion before parliament this week.

The motion has been proposed by Liberal Democrat MP Tim Farron, who has been campaigning for support for two struggling practices in his South Lakes constituency, Hawkshead and Coniston medical practices.

Coniston stands to lose £25,000 in funding over the next seven years, and the motion also calls on Parliament to recognise the disadvantage rural practices face in terms of funding, and the crucial role they serve in large and often isolated rural communities.

The motion states: ‘That this House recognises that … these practices are vital to the communities they serve, particularly in large rural areas; and therefore calls on the Government and NHS England to create a strategic small surgeries fund which would make up the shortfall that small rural surgeries face, enabling them to continue to provide vital health services to the rural communities, residents and visitors they serve.’

Pulse has also been lobbying ministers to back its Stop Practice Closures campaign, which calls for short term funding and support to be made available to practice to prevent them closing, and recently revealed more than 160,000 patients have already been displaced by closures.