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Practice launches new campaign to stave off closure

Another inner-city GP practice facing closure because of MPIG withdrawal has launched a campaign to highlight how the withdrawal is disproportionately affecting practices serving the most deprived populations.

The Devonshire Green & Hanover Medical Centres in Sheffield has launched the campaign after calculating it is due to lose as much as £140,000 due to its large proportion of patients with mental health problems and patients who often don’t speak English as a first language.

It follows the campaign led by Jubilee Street Practice in east London, which succeeded in securing a reprieve in the withdrawal of MPIG payments for some practices.

Devonshire Green & Hanover Medical Centres partner Dr Graham Pettinger told Pulse the practice would be launching a petition for patients and supporters and patients on 26 January, having already received support from local MP Paul Blomfield.

The practice has also won concessions from the area team, CCG and local public health teams, who have all agreed to fund a short-term independent study looking in detail at the work load and patient demographics that make the practice so MPIG dependent.

Writing in Pulse, Dr Pettinger said he hopes the study will be used to show exactly how damaging the withdrawal will be, but added:‘They understand that we are not a failing practice, but have survived until now in a difficult financial situation by dedication and careful use of resources. They also accept that they would face very difficult decisions about providing care to our patients if the practice were to close.’

‘However, at present the area teams have no power to make locally flexible decisions, and the CCGs do not have a remit to vary our contract.’

This comes after Pulse revealed NHS England had sat down with other MPIG-affected practices in London after they highlighted evidence which, they believe, shows NHS England has seriously underestimated the impact of cuts.


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