Pulse: Lost Practices
Our September issue features a major Pulse investigation on GP practice closures – Lost Practices. This revealed that 474 surgeries across the UK have closed in the past nine years without being replaced, with small practices on lower funding in more deprived areas most likely to be affected.
Previous investigations by Pulse and other groups have looked at the number of practices where GP partners have handed their contracts back, or closed branch surgeries, but this latest investigation is the first to focus only on those where a surgery has not been replaced in the same postcode.
The practice closures investigation examined the reasons behind the closures and the effect on the 1.5 million patients that have been displaced. It found that the final straw for many practices tended to be staffing issues, although CQC ratings and an APMS contract ending were major factors too.
The investigation also revealed that practices in deprived areas are more susceptible to closure than those in more affluent areas. Linked to this, our September analysis explores the growing call for the Carr-Hill funding formula for practices to be changed to take greater account of deprivation factors.
Elsewhere in the issue, an opinion piece calls on NHS managers to take the climate emergency seriously and provide practices with urgent support to keep staff and patients safe.
In the clinical section, we have key questions on acute red-eye presentations in primary care, a Clinical Clangers piece on swollen ankles, and advice on dealing with sports injuries to the foot and lower leg.
The Lost Practices investigation has been covered across the national media, with Pulse Editor Jaimie Kaffash also on LBC Radio on Tuesday 30th August to discuss the findings.