This site is intended for health professionals only

GPs call for action to prevent ‘destabilising’ practices through list cleansing

By Edward Davie

GPs will call on the GPC to demand 'a fair national policy for list validation' at the BMA's Local Medical Committees conference next month.

Several LMCs have tabled motions for debate at the conference attacking the practice of list-cleansing by PCTs removing active patients from practice registers

It follows a string of Pulse investigations to expose PCTs who are wiping active patients who have not been seen for some time from GP lists in a bid to save money.

A motion tabled by Enfield LMC 'requests the GPC to negotiate a fair national policy for list validation', and 'deplores the current list cleansing initiatives which are designed purely to save money and which puts the most vulnerable sections of society at risk'.

Brent LMC – which has estimated that practices in the area could lose up to 40% of patients to list-cleansing initiatives run by the PCT – has submitted a motion warning list-cleansing 'risks destabilising practices' and calling for the GPC to 'negotiate a change to the regulations which is fair to practices and patients'.

A separate motion also 'calls on the GPC to develop and implement national principles for effective list validation', including a rolling programme over two years and requiring LMC approval before implementing any list cleansing initiatives.

In a separate motion Waltham Forest LMC, criticises local managers for a QIPP plan to save 2.5% annually of budget from list cleansing which 'has the potential to result in hard-to-reach patients not being registered with general practice.'

Last week Pulse reported NHS managers had stripped more than 100,000 patients from practice lists last year. Some 36% of PCOs are currently running list-cleansing schemes, and 51% said they planned to run one within the next 12 months.

Of 37 organisations able to provide data on the number of patients they had removed from lists, a total of 116,476 patients were taken off in the past 12 months, an average of 3,148 per PCO.

Click here to read the full list of motions to be voted on by the LMCs Conference in June

GPs call for action to prevent 'destabilising' practices through list cleansing