Investigation finds hundreds of GP surgeries are closing their lists to new arrivals, forcing out existing patients or facing closure
Soaring numbers of GP practices are demanding to close their doors to new patients and force current patients to go elsewhere as doctors warn that services are “teetering on the brink of collapse”.
New figures show that last year 104 GP practices applied to NHS authorities for permission to stop accepting patients – more than twice as many as two years before.
A further 45 surgeries asked to “shrink” their practice boundaries, throwing existing patients off their lists, while 100 more practices are threatened with closure, an investigation by Pulse magazine found.
Doctors said they were unable to cope with “vast numbers of people” moving into some parts of the country, forcing them to close their lists to newcomers, or divert existing patients to new surgeries.
Dr Maureen Baker, chairman of the Royal College of General Practice, said the situation was “extremely distressing” and having a “severe impact” on patient care. . . [Full text]