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Coalition set for boundaries row with GPC

By Alisdair Stirling

The new coalition is set for conflict with the GPC over plans to scrap practice boundaries, which are supported by both the Conservatives and Lib Dems.

Pulse this week reports that the NHS Confederation has become the latest organisation to warn against the changes.

The previous government's favoured option was to allow patients to register anywhere they choose but allow GP visits only for those living close to the practice, and Dr Steel said this was also the approach favoured by the Tories.

‘It will require legislation, but it makes sense. Patients will be able to register with who they want but will know that if they need a home visit, it will be from a GP they don't know,' he said.

Dr Watson said the GPC would be seeking more talks on the issue: ‘I think there are issues which need to be addressed, as yet there seems very little in the way of answers to the real issues that this proposal raises. More discussion with policy makers is required.'

Dr Dixon said there was no real public appetite for boundary changes and felt they might be quietly shelved by the incoming government. ‘Only about 5% of patients actually want this. Arrangements need to made for them but there are simpler solutions than abolishing practice boundaries. I think this might just go on the back burner.'

Coalition set for boundaries row with GPC