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38 Degrees becomes latest to launch campaign against GP practice closures

Lobby group 38 Degrees has launched a petition for health secretary Jeremy Hunt to ‘stop closing GP surgeries’.

The petition, launched last week, has already generated over 70,000 signatures. Titled: ‘Jeremy Hunt, don’t close our GP surgeries’, the petition calls on the health secretary not to go ahead with his ‘plans to strip away millions of pounds from some GPs’, saying it could ‘hit some of the poorest communities in the country’.

The calls are the latest in a string of calls to protect general practice from Government spending cuts, boosting the leverage of Pulse’s campaign for the Government to step in to provide emergency funding to a growing list of over 100 practices at risk of having to close.

The 38 Degrees petition saw several patients adding heartfelt messages in support of their local GPs, including one commenter who said: ‘Our local GPs are stretched to the limit and services are suffering now. Taking away this funding will sound the death knell for many surgeries and will be another nail in the coffin of a health service that was once the envy of the world,” one wrote.

A 38 Degrees spokesperson said: ‘We’ll definitely be handing in the petition to Jeremy Hunt and [are also] considering what other action we can take together to ensure that our vital GP services are protected.’

It comes as Save Our Surgeries campaign, led by a group of east London GP practices, delivered 20,000 signatures to 10 Downing Street earlier this month, calling for funding for practices destabilised by the withdrawal of the minumum practice income guarantee (MPIG).

The BMA and RCGP are also currently running major campaigns calling for sustainable funding for general practice.

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