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Over 1,500 patients left without a GP after practice closures

More than 1,500 patients have been left without a GP after two practices in Leicester closed earlier this year.

Maples Surgery closed in February, and the Queen’s Road Medical Centre shut on 31 March with patients urged to re-register at other practices before then.

However, around 700 of Maples Surgery’s patients and 855 from Queen’s Road Medical Centre have not yet done so.

Local commissioners have said that practices are having issues with capacity.

This comes after Pulse revealed that 200,000 patients were forced to move surgeries due to practice closures and mergers last year, while GP leaders have previously warned about the problems neighbouring practices have with capacity when a local practice closes.

According to the Leicester Mercury, John Holliday, interim head of primary care commissioning at NHS Leicester City CCG, said at a board meeting: ‘We know of GPs who have said they are keen to take new patients. But there has been the odd practice which is having issues with capacity.

’We’re fairly optimistic at this stage that the number of people without a GP is not going to be substantial given the rate of patients re-registering to a practise of their choice. We’re hoping the majority will do this.’

If patients do not re-register at another practice by mid-April, they will automatically be registered at a nearby practice.

In December, Dr Jonathan Lenten who ran the Queens Road Medical Centre sent a letter to patients saying: ‘Unfortunately, in the current healthcare environment, small practices are becoming unviable, as the workload has reached an unsustainable level and access to funding is becoming more and more difficult for practices set up like ours in the traditional way.’

Last year, Pulse reported that GPs were being offered a £25 ‘administrative payment’ for every patient they agree to take on from the 3,000-patient list of a closing neighbouring practice, 

Stop Practice Closures

Stop Practice Closures-logo-online-330

Stop Practice Closures-logo-online-330

As part of the Stop Practice Closures campaign, Pulse has revealed that 200,000 patients were displaced when their practice folded last year

Last month, the BMA revealed that a survey of 2,830 practices found that 294 practices (10%) regard themselves as financially unsustainable within the next year.

Meanwhile, NHS England formally identified over 800 GP practices as vulnerable as part of its work to allocate £10m worth of support funding