Minister to investigate contract threat to practice over closed list

A health minister has said he will look into why NHS England threatened a Midlands GP practice with a breach notice after it informally closed its list to protect patients' safety.

Dr Dan Poulter: will investigate contract threat (Photo: DH)
Dr Dan Poulter: will investigate contract threat (Photo: DH)

GP reported last week that Dryland Medical Centre in Kettering, Northamptonshire, had been told by NHS England it was in breach of its contract after it took GPC advice and stopped registering new patients.

Partner Dr Hadrian Moss told GP the practice had reached a ‘critical point’. ‘If we were to continue to have an increase in list size then patient safety could not be guaranteed,' he said.

Local MP Philip Hollobone MP (Con, Kettering) raised the matter with ministers at health question in the Commons Tuesday.

GP contract breach

Mr Hollobone asked: ‘What is the minister's view about reconciling the view of the BMA on patient safety guidelines, and NHS England's view on potential breach of contract?’

Health minister Dr Dan Poulter said it was difficult for him to comment on an individual case, but pledged he would look into the matter.

A spokeswoman for NHS England Central Midlands said last week: ‘NHS England commissions primary care medical services; the terms of those contracts include the processes which must be followed in the event that a practice believes they need to close their register.

'NHS England (Central Midlands) and the CCG are planning to meet with the practice to discuss their current position. To date, NHS England (Central Midlands) has not received a written application from Drylands GP Practice [sic] to close their patient list.’

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