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Petition to stop GP practice closures gains over 53k signatures in one day

Petition to stop GP practice closures gains over 53k signatures in one day

A petition calling on politicians to stop GP practice closures has gained over 53,000 signatures in just 24 hours. 

It was launched by Lancashire and Cumbria Consortium of LMCs chief executive Dr Adam Janjua and – citing Pulse’s figures – demanded political leaders ‘come up with a serious plan to fix the impending crisis’. 

Partnering with activist organisation 38 Degrees, Dr Janjua called for changes to how GP practices are funded and further investment in the profession. 

In the petition, Dr Janjua said he is ‘very worried’ that ‘hundreds of practices’ nationally are at risk of closure due to ‘funding cuts’. 

He added: ‘I’m working with 38 Degrees to demand our political leaders come up with a serious plan to fix the impending crisis of GP practices closing. 

‘The benefits are obvious. Investing in local doctors creates a ripple effect throughout the healthcare system. If we strengthen our GPs it helps make us healthier, reduces the burden on hospitals, and creates a healthier society.’

According to Dr Janjua, politicians should stop trying to ‘divide’ the public by shifting ‘blame’ onto NHS staff such as GPs. 

‘We need to change how GP surgeries are funded so they can afford to stay open without charging patients,’ he said.

‘In the past few years, money meant for individual surgeries has been split between hundreds of practices. This has made it harder for GPs like myself to keep up with costs.’

He linked to Pulse’s reporting which showed that nearly 60 practices closed their doors in 2022, as well as his own LMCs report from earlier this year, which found that 10 local practices were ‘at immediate risk of closure’.

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The report also warned that cloud-based telephony, which was a requirement in last year’s contract, will cost ‘cash-strapped’ GP practices up to £10,000 extra per year.

In a statement last month, Dr Janjua said that recent discussions with the local ICB ‘revolved around cuts to GP funding’ with the possibility of seeing ‘10% to 15% across the board cuts to all GP funding’ and that this was ‘only stopped due to the release of the financial report and the publicity it received’.

However, Lancashire and South Cambria ICB refuted this and told Pulse that no cuts were ever announced or formally discussed, but that the concerns raised in the report ‘have been considered’.

BMA GP Committee England chair Dr Katie Bramall-Stainer previously said that this year’s GP contract imposition, with a funding increase of just over 2%, will ‘likely’ lead to more practice closures. 

Speaking at Pulse Live last week, she told attendees that her own Freedom of Information requests had revealed a total of 1,300 practice closures over the past 10 years.

Dr Bramall-Stainer said: ‘Now we know it’s complicated. They might be merged. They might be dispersed, but they’re gone. Those ODS codes have gone forever. That level of continuity has gone forever, at what cost?’

Pulse’s major Lost Practices investigation in 2022 found that 474 GP surgeries across the UK had closed in the previous nine years without being replaced.

Patients at a GP practice in Devon recently started a social media recruitment campaign in order to avoid closure.

And in Nottingham, an 11,000-patient practice is switching from GMS to APMS after partners handed their contract back.

In January, a Worcester GP practice announced its imminent closure and list dispersal of its 5,000 patients due to ‘challenges with recruitment and rising costs’.


          

READERS' COMMENTS [6]

Please note, only GPs are permitted to add comments to articles

Dave Haddock 5 April, 2024 12:57 pm

The obvious mechanism to improve access is to charge a small fee for appointments; incentivise patients to think twice before booking an appointment, incentivise GPs to see patients, increase practice funding.

Some Bloke 5 April, 2024 1:03 pm

I would sign a petition demanding that the moon stops orbiting our planet, for whatever reason, maybe to improve mental wellbeing of werewolf community. will that lead to anything?

Bonglim Bong 5 April, 2024 4:46 pm

Stopping the moon orbiting would be really good at reducing demand for GP appointments.

A combination of the moons speed and gravity keeps it in orbit.
If it stops moving gravity would be able to pull it directly towards earth.
We would probably all die from the impact.
And demand for appointments will be less

Good result. Might also affect supply.

So the bird flew away 5 April, 2024 6:23 pm

I agree petitions don’t work in stopping closures, and as per Bong’s astrophysical explanation, co-opting the moon simply annihilates the problem. We should turn to the time-honoured traditions of witchcraft or ritual sacrifice to save our practices.

Dave Haddock 5 April, 2024 7:35 pm

I’m not entirely happy with the direction of this discussion.
Show a bit more respect or I’m off somewhere more appreciative.

Dave Haddock 5 April, 2024 7:37 pm

Please delete
Posted in error