We store cookies on your device to make sure we give you the best experience on this website. I'm fine with this - Turn cookies off
Switch to an accessible version of this website which is easier to read. (requires cookies)

Farron supports save rural GP practices petition

July 16, 2013 12:18 PM

TF ruralSouth Lakes MP Tim Farron has backed an e-petition on the government's website asking the government to add flexibility to the funding formula to protect rural GP practices.

The E-petition on the government's website was set up by Dr Karen Barbara Massey of Slaidburn Health Centre, Clitheroe. The petition says: "We want the government to recognise the importance of rurality when making decisions about GP practice funding. Rural surgeries must be treated as exceptional cases and adequate "weighting" given to rurality to enable these essential community services to survive."

The petition can be found here: http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/51875

A compensation payment for surgeries with low footfall is due to be phased out from next year, prompting an outcry that practices in rural areas will be forced to close.

The so-called Minimum Practice Income Guarantee (MPIG) is being ditched in a move that local politicians and campaigners have claimed is further undermining key services in countryside communities. Recently the Yorkshire Dales National Park agreed at their board meeting to lobby for the MPIG changes to be looked at again. Some practices now face a 35% cut in funding.

Whilst larger practices will be able to absorb the additional work load, smaller surgeries in the rural areas of Cumbria, Lancashire and North Yorkshire will suffer a real risk of closure under the pressure. Along with poor public transport links and difficult winter weather conditions in these rural areas, this would be devastating for people needing emergency medical care. Tim has called for changes to the policy without delay.

Tim said: "This petition is stepping up our campaign to protect rural GP services. In the last couple of years we have worked hard to secure major investment for surgeries throughout South Lakeland. Many of the practices now hold clinics and do minor surgery. We need to protect that. I hope people will sign the petition and join the campaign."