GP practices could close or reduce services this winter as pressures mount, warn LMCs

Pulse reports that GP leaders warn that surgeries face the ‘very real prospect’ of having to close temporarily or permanently this winter among rising workload and staffing issues.

One LMC is predicting a third of GP practices in its region will soon be on the highest alert levels for workload pressures. And GP leaders in other areas said they expect practices to be operating ‘skeleton services’ this autumn as appointment levels rise during the traditionally busiest parts of the year.

In Devon, the LMC is expecting a ‘significant rise’ in GPs reporting their practice as reaching ‘red’ or ‘black’ alert status, which respectively mean they are either under significant pressure and require immediate action to stop services becoming unsafe, or it is unsafe to continue services.

Dr Andy Parkin, medical director for Kent LMC, said: ‘Both temporary and permanent closures are a very real risk going into the winter, without swift action to relieve the pressures on general practice.’

Full story in Pulse, 3 August 2021