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Thousands of people sign GPs’ petition to save surgeries in deprived areas

Over 3,000 members of the public have signed a petition to save GP practices that are being affected by the MPIG withdrawal.

The petition, hosted by infleuntial campaign group 38 Degrees, asks for the general practice funding formula to be amended to take account the effects of deprivation, so that both inner city and rural practices are fairly funded.

Already signed by 3,200 people, the the petition says: ‘Please fund general practices fairly, and reverse the effects of your decision to withdraw the minimum practice income guarantee (MPIG), which is threatening large numbers of surgeries with bankruptcy.’

‘Please change the funding formula to take account of the effects of deprivation, both inner city and rural so that all practices are fairly funded.’

The petition was initiated by Dr Sarah Williams, a GP in east London, who wrote: ‘Now the Government is taking away the MPIG and many practices are threatened with bankruptcy again. Good quality surgeries (who spend the most, employing more staff to provide the best possible service to patients) will be the first to go. This will open the door for more GP surgeries run by large private firms on the cheap.’

The 38 Degrees campaign group has previously campaigned against closing of NHS services, including raising money to legally challenge the Government’s decision to close Lewisham Hospital – a challenge that was upheld by the High Court in 2013.

NHS England had initially said it would protect 98 ‘outlier’ practices set to lose more than £3 per patients in MPIG. But practices have reported that promises have failed to materialise on the ground. Last month, NHS England admitted some practices could close as a result of its redistribution of GP funding.