Primary care officials at NHS England's London region are expected to write to the worst-hit 'outlier' practices within days to reveal details of a financial support package being drawn up.
GP revealed earlier this week that the London region had conceded in a briefing to local politicians that it was considering a ‘number of options for financial support’, despite GPs having previously been told there was no money available.
Practices, patients, supporters and politicians across east London have been lobbying and protesting to demand financial help for around 30 practices in the capital which face closure due to MPIG withdrawal.
NHS England has identified 98 outliers across the country which the BMA has said are all at risk of closure. Other practices are also being hit.
Support package for 2014/15
A senior London region official has now confirmed in an email seen by GP that practices will be informed this Friday or next Monday of details of the support package for 2014/15. Officials are devising a process for practices to access the funds to be made available. LMCs could be given details today.
The London region has been in talks with NHS England nationally to draw up the package. A spokeswoman told GP on Tuesday those talks were ongoing.
Jubilee Street Practice in Tower Hamlets, east London - one of the hardest-hit practices, facing losses worth over £900,000 over the seven-year withdrawal of MPIG - yesterday published a letter to patients informing them that unless NHS England provides a ‘workable funding solution’ it will give notice of closure in October and close in April.
The letter said: ‘We are not prepared to put our patients at risk by providing a skeleton service.'
Partners at the practice said in June they had been told by NHS England that an enhanced service could be made available to practices that can demonstrate additional work above the core contract, to meet the challenges of deprivation.
The practice wrote to patients that ‘legal proceedings may be necessary’ if NHS England does not honour the promise made by health minister Lord Howe to keep the practice open.