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Small surgeries set to close due to problems with working at scale

Three Midlands GP surgeries are having to close branches because they are unable to operate on a small scale in ‘modern general practice’.

The surgeries around Dudley in the West Midlands are the latest in a long line of practices to announce they are no longer sustainable, Dudley News reports

Pulse last year launched its ‘Stop Practice Closures’ campaign to get emergency support for GP practices facing closure because of the nationwide crisis in workforce and funding.

The Dudley practices having to close branches include Lower Gornal Medical Practice, where partners have written to patients to request input on their proposal to close their smaller surgery.

The letter states that after implementing other cost-cutting measures: ‘It has become clear that the provision of care across both sites is not achievable… [and] after a great deal of thought and consideration, it is apparent that Masefield Road is no longer able to operate effectively in modern general practice.’

A similar proposal from the partners at Wordsley Green Surgery said that their smaller branch premise ‘does not lend itself to the provision of modern day general practice services.’

In a letter to patients they wrote: ‘Unfortunately it is often the case that smaller surgeries are not able to provide the services expected of general practice. The sheer economy of scale makes it very difficult to offer all that we can provide at our main site.’

A final practice, the St Thomas Medical Centre in Dudley is set to merge with another local practice, following uncertainty over the funding for its current site which means NHS Dudley CCG cannot offer a long-term lease.

The past year has seen smaller practices increasingly struggling to remain open, and GP leaders accusing NHS England of allowing small and single handed practices to fail.

The headline was changed at 9:50 on 26 November


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