More than 1 million patients forced to change GP since 2013

Full story in The Guardian, 30 May 2018

Around 1.3 million patients in the UK have been forced to change GP surgery over the past five years because of practice closures, an investigation has revealed. The disruption is the result of 445 surgeries shutting their doors between 2013 and 2017; 270 of those closures came in the past two years alone.

Last year, there were 134 closures or mergers, resulting in just under 460,000 patients having to change surgeries. That contrasts starkly with four years earlier, in 2013, when just 18 practices shut, affecting around 38,000 patients.

The figures, obtained by the GP website Pulse, are the latest to highlight the impact that problems with recruitment and funding are having on surgeries and the consequent disruption to patients. Some practices have faced huge cuts due to government reforms, with those in rural and coastal regions particularly affected.