MP proposes bill to protect rural GP surgeries
South Lakes MP Tim Farron has stepped up his campaign to protect rural GP practices by introducing a Presentation Bill in the House of Commons.
Tim yesterday proposed the General Practitioner Surgeries (Rural Areas) Bill 2014-15 which would create a strategic fund for small GP practices to access to deal with the potential impact of funding cuts due to the removal of the Minimum Practice Income Guarantee (MPIG).
Local politicians and campaigners have claimed the removal of the MPIG is further undermining key services in countryside communities. Some practices now face a 35% cut in funding, potentially removing thousands of pounds from a practice, making it unsustainable.
The Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority and South Lakeland District Council have both agreed to lobby for the MPIG changes to be looked at again.
This Bill is expected to have its second reading debate on 9 January 2015.
Tim said: "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. I hope that this bill I have proposed will be supported by the government and we can safeguard our GP practices.
"I will keep fighting as hard as I can to defend our rural GP practices - they are at the heart of communities like Hawkshead and Coniston."
Tim's bill, the General Practitioner Surgeries (Rural Areas) Bill 2014-15 can be found here:http://services.parliament.uk/bills/2014-15/generalpractitionersurgeriesruralareas.html