Abolishing practice boundaries must be 'staunchly' resisted say GPs

Plans to abolish practice boundaries will be a 'key battleground' in the next year, as the annual conference of LMCs demanded the GPC to 'staunchly' resist the proposals.

Delegates at the annual conference of LMCs in London overwhelmingly backed a motion that called on the GPC to resist the government's plans to remove practice boundaries.

Concerns were raised that removing practice boundaries would undermine GP commissioning, damage continuity of care, threaten home visits and increase risks to children in need of protection.

It comes as the DoH announced that it aims to push ahead with its plans to offer GPs greater choice of GP practice by April next year.

Dr Julian Bradley, a member of Buckinghamshire LMC, warned that removing practice boundaries will create funding issues locally and undermine commissioning.

He said: ‘Money is said to follow the patient. Money does follow, but years later. It never catches up, leaving a growing deficit of need.’

Dr William Hollington, a member of Bedfordshire LMC, urged delegates to reject the plans to remove practice boundaries. He said the proposal will only favour a ‘small minority’ of commuting patients with 'low medical needs'.

He said: ‘Every practice that cares about vulnerable patients and every patient who cares about quality should strongly reject this proposal as damaging and unworkable.’

GPC deputy chairman Dr Richard Vautrey said this will be a ‘key battleground’ for the BMA in the coming year.

He said: ‘This is a good debate to have and the views have been articulated well about how complex, risky and dangerous this is. We will be resisting the DoH in the coming year to remove practice boundaries.’

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