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Hundreds march to protect surgeries

Patients and doctors from 13 east London practices marched through the borough of Tower Hamlets yesterday, to protest the threat posed by the loss of MPIG funding to surgeries in the area.

The ‘Save Our Surgeries’ march travelled almost six miles through the deprived borough, growing as it passed affected practices on its way.

Pulse reported earlier today that the Jubilee Street practice had been offered ‘short-term’ emergency payments to keep it afloat after NHS England had said it was prepared to let practices close as a result of its equitable funding strategy.

The Jubilee Street Practice had warned that it had set a ‘red button’ day, by which it would have to close unless it could find extra funding.

GPC chair Dr Chaand Nagpaul, who joined the march, told Pulse: ‘We’re seeing our worst fears realised. You’ve got many practices up and down the country who are struggling to know how they can make ends meet and more importantly the impact this is going to have on patients and services.’

Lyn Owens, assistant practice manager at the Jubilee Street Practice, said: ‘Patients don’t want to travel long distances to see their “local” doctor.’