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GP practice at risk of closure visited by health minister

GPs at a practice threatened with imminent closure due to the withdrawal of MPIG have had face-to-face talks with health minister Alisdair Burt.

The hastily arranged ministerial visit last week comes days after Pulse reported the health secretary had promised to come to the practice, but it was likely to close before he could find time in his diary.

GPs from the Limehouse Practice said that they had left the health minister in ‘no doubt’ about the ‘high-quality and much-valued services’ provided by dedicated staff at the practice, but the minister did not make any promises of support during the visit.    

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The practice says it is ‘just pennies’ over the amount of funding per patient that would qualify them for support from NHS England to help with the withdrawal of MPIG and this means they may have to close their doors by September, leaving 11,000 patients without a GP.

Dr Naureen Bhatti, a GP at the Limehouse Practice, said: ‘The Minister said several times that we’d made our case. But he stopped short of making any promises at all. That is very worrying news for our partners and patients.’

The surgery is serving in one of the country’s most deprived areas, and was supported by members of NHS Tower Hamlets CCG and the Save Our Surgeries campaign, the high-profile campaign that highlights the funding pressures on local practices in East London.  

Londonwide LMCs recently released survey data that showed one in ten GP practices in the capital is facing closure.