MPs have raised Pulse’s Stop Practice Closures campaign with ministers, after Pulse wrote to hundreds of MPs in areas where practices are in particular distress.
Three MPs – Labour MPs Sir Tony Cunningham (Workington) Gareth Thomas (Harrow West) and Rosie Winterton (Doncaster Central) – wrote to health minister Earl Howe demanding answers on what the Government is doing.
In response, Earl Howe listed a number of ways in which the Government thinks it has improved the situation, such as the limited support to practices threatened by the scrapping of the minimum practice income guarantee, the Prime Minister’s ‘challenge fund’ and a contractual requirement for all patients to have a ‘named GP’.
Other MPs said they were supportive of the Pulse campaign, with former health minister Ben Bradshaw – Labour MP for Exeter – writing to NHS England after receiving Pulse’s letter warning practices were struggling in his local area
Pulse wrote to more than 200 of MPs after an investigation revealed that more than a hundred practices had approached LMCs to say they were considering closing.
This week, Pulse revealed there has been a 500% increase in the number of practices contacting NHS England about merging or closing,