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NEWS: Pandemic fails to stem practice closures

by in GP Practice Management, News

As many as a hundred GP practices closed last year during the height of the pandemic, according to new data.

It brings the total number of closures in the last eight years to 800, according to the analysis. GP leaders called for a full investigation into closures, many of them caused by GP recruitment problems. The Royal College of GPs warned closures could continue unless the pressures facing practices are tackled.

Chair Professor Martin Marshall said: “Some of the closures will be due to practices merging, or working in different ways, but some practices will have had no choice but to close due to intense workforce and workload pressures – and this must be addressed urgently.
General practice was dealing with unsustainable workload, and practices were struggling to recruit sufficient numbers of GPs and practice staff to handle it, before the pandemic. The pandemic has only exacerbated these pressures. This has resulted in GPs feeling burnt out and leaving the profession before they planned to and has forced some practices to close for good.”

Professor Marshall added: “We need to see initiatives in place to prevent GPs from burning out, as well as further efforts to recruit doctors to the profession and keep existing, experienced GPs on the frontline. We need to be able to manage the increasing workload pressures facing the profession, and keep practices open, so we can continue to deliver the high-quality care and access to services that our patients rely on us for.”

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One Response to “NEWS: Pandemic fails to stem practice closures”
  1. Avatar
    Dr J Loke (ANP) Says:

    Many policies, and SoPs which were meant for big organisations were expected to be reflected in small and medium sized GP practices. There were no adjustments from regulatory bodies to ensure relevance of their validation of practices. Also, GPs are made to be responsible for the blunders of bigger organisations, that this make life extremely difficult for GP practices. One very simple example is during the pandemic, when hospitals failed to see patients based on referrals, GPs have been blamed for not expediting the referrals. Pharmacies which failed to provide the medications to patients ontime, blamed GPs for not’authorising’ the prescriptions, that resulted in many patients being agressive towards surgery staff. In many ways, GP has become the slave of service users and scapegoat of other blunders. When GPs are heavily bullied, who will want to stay?


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