GP leaders to join protest march over MPIG withdrawal

National GP leaders have given their support to a protest march in east London later on Thursday that will call for urgent assistance for practices hit by the withdrawal of MPIG funding.

Dr Naomi Beer (left) and practice manager Virginia Patania (photo: Jubilee Street Practice)
Dr Naomi Beer (left) and practice manager Virginia Patania (photo: Jubilee Street Practice)

GPC negotiators will join GPs, practice staff, health campaigners and patients in a march around Tower Hamlets, where five practices are under threat of closure due to MPIG losses. A further 17 practices face similar funding cuts in neighboring Hackney and Newham.

The Save our Surgeries campaign was launched last month after partners at the Jubilee Street Practice in Tower Hamlets said they would close in October unless a solution was found to their funding crisis.

Over the seven-year withdrawal of MPIG, the practice stands to lose £903,000 in total from the withdrawal of £219,508 of correction factor payments each year.

GPC chairman Dr Chaand Nagapul and executive committee members Dr Dean Marshall and Dr Beth McCarron-Nash will join the march, which sets off at 2.30pm on Thursday.

Dr Nagpaul said: ‘The phasing out of the MPIG is having a profound and destabilising effect on these important surgeries that provide vital care to patients in some of the most deprived areas of east London.’ 

Serious questions over future

Dr Nagpaul called on NHS England to ‘take seriously’ the problems faced by the east London practices and ‘honour its commitment to provide support to those practices most adversely affected’.

The campaign is also backed by former health secretary and local resident Lord David Owen, who will address a rally after today’s march.

Lord Owen told GP he and his family had been patients at Jubilee Street Practice since 1965. ‘It both angers and frustrates me that NHS England has treated them with such scant regard for their past service and so little understanding of what it takes to practise in this area of deprivation and high immigration,' he said.

Dr Naomi Beer, a partner at Jubilee Street, said MPIG removal had ‘placed a serious financial question mark over the future of our practice and others in the area’.

She said: ‘NHS England has to wake up and understand that, unless they act, GP services could disappear in this part of Tower Hamlets.’

An NHS England spokeswoman said a working group with CCGs and LMCs had been formed to consider further support for practices affected by the MPIG withdrawal.

She said: 'At the heart of this is ensuring all patients have access to high quality GP services that are close to home. These changes - which are part of a national policy - will help make GP funding more equitable across London, and the majority of practices will gain as a result. It means that practices will be paid fairly according to the number of patients they care for and their needs.'

Free GMS financial forecast

Medeconomics has teamed up with specialist medical accountants to produce individual forecasts of practice financial performance as the MPIG is phased out.

View a sample report here

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