Posted on 30/04/2018 by Rob Muddiman
Official data suggests that over 250 GP surgeries across England have merged or closed within the last 12 months. With surgeries across England currently operating 'on the edge of viability' according to GP Leaders, it's no surprise there are closures. The year-round pressures on the NHS has resulted in pressures on general practice.
GPC chair Dr Richard Vautrey said that without an urgent injection of funding to maintain general practice, 'the domino impact of general practice closures will increase'.
Analysis of NHS Digital Data conducted by GP Online found that patients who were registered at 254 practices recorded on 1 April 2017 do not appear in figures for 1 April 2018.
The analysis also revealed that smaller surgeries were the biggest casualties, with an average registered patient list size of 3,887 among practices that appear to have closed or merged - almost exactly half the average 7,785 practice list size on 1 April 2017.
The closures of smaller practices saw the average list size of surgeries increase to 8,154 as at 1 April 2018. This is a 5% increase compared to 12 months ago.
Larger surgeries have also been affected by changes, the largest practice that appears to have closed or merged had a registered list of over 19,000 patients. A total of 13 practices had list sizes in excess of 10,000 patients.
The urgent need to invest in general practice is important for support staff such as Practice Managers, HCAs, and Healthcare Assistants as well as patients. These closures and mergers could mean redundancies, shortage of positions or even job sharing for staff.
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Source: GP Online