Managers and clinicians oppose extending practice boundaries

More than two-thirds of managers and clinicians in PCTs and GP practices think surgery boundaries should not be extended, according to an NHS Alliance poll.

Dr Dixon: extending practice boundaries would have a negative effect for some local patients
Dr Dixon: extending practice boundaries would have a negative effect for some local patients

It also found that 77% of respondents believe that extra funding would be required if boundaries were to be extended.

Also 91% of the 47 respondents said that practice catchment areas should continue to be used to identify patients for whom the practice has a duty to provide home visits where necessary.

NHS Alliance chairman Dr Michael Dixon said extending or abolishing practice boundaries ‘could lead to some practices having to close their lists for local patients and, for those who can register with local practices, there could be a danger that personal care and continuity for those that most need it - the elderly, the long-term ill and the very sick - is fractured.

‘At worst we could end up with some practices cherry picking the less ill and more remunerative patients leaving those most in need of heavy duty care being unable to get it. In short, the drive to greater choice might lead, especially for the most vulnerable, to a narrower range of options.'

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