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DH received over 400 letters of concern regarding GP practice closures

The Department of Health has received hundreds of letters of concern relating to GP practices closing in the past year, it has been revealed.

Responding to a written question from shadow health minister Jamie Reed, health minister Dr Dan Poulter said a search of the DH ministerial correspondence database showed 410 items expressing concern over the potential closure of practices since the beginning of June last year.

However there could be more, with Dr Poulter saying a ‘more comprehensive’ search would be too expensive to carry out.

Mr Reed asked the health secretary ‘what correspondence he has received on concerns over the potential closure of GP surgeries in the last year’.

Dr Poulter, responding on behalf of Jeremy Hunt, answered: ‘A search of the Department’s ministerial correspondence database has identified 410 items of correspondence received since 1 June 2013 about concerns over the potential closure of general practitioner surgeries. The cost of a more comprehensive search would incur a disproportionate cost to the Department.’

The news comes after Pulse reported that NHS England is prepared to see some practices close as a result of a recent reshuffle of GP funding, including PMS contract reforms and the seven-year withdrawal of MPIG.