Removing practice boundaries 'could endanger children'

The government's drive to remove practice boundaries will hamper general practice's input into safeguarding children, delegates at the LMCs conference said.

A motion was carried at the conference in London on Thursday that said removing practice boundaries could increase the chances of further child abuse going undetected.

Dr Mark Sanford-Wood, chairman of Devon LMC and who raised the motion, also outlined that removing practice boundaries could lead to greater medication abuse.

He said: ‘Just when it appeared the government was taking systematic child abuse seriously, de-regulation allows abusive parents to move around from practice to practice in order to mask the scale of their abuse and evade detection, which so often comes from a GP's suspicions and insights.'

Dr Sanford-Wood therefore said patients need to be better informed about the impact practice boundaries might have.

He said: ‘Do our patients want primary care to fragment and child abuse to go undetected? Of course they don't. But no-one has explained to them that these are the consequences of this policy.' 

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