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GP merger plans ignore rural communities - Farron

March 31, 2017 3:28 PM

Plans for GPs to merge into super-practices could lead to the closure of all but two of South Lakeland's surgeries. The plans, released today, have been slammed by local MP Tim Farron as evidence that the government's health plans ignore rural communities.

Plans announced today make clear that the government wants all GP practices to merge into super-practices or federate so that they cover 30,000-50,000 patients. In an attempt to force cash-strapped surgeries small surgeries to join this model, the government will offer financial incentives for those that do so.

The plans were announced today as part of the NHS' report 'Next steps on the NHS Five Year Forward View'.

Tim said: "These plans show the government really has no idea about the reality of healthcare in a large rural area like Cumbria. There is no way that an area like South Lakeland could be adequately covered by just two 'super-practices'.

"The government should stop trying to force everywhere from London to the Lake District into a one-size-fits-all model. Rural communities need access to a GP in their community just like everyone else.

"Instead of yet more political meddling, what our rural GP surgeries actually need is more cash. The government is putting rural health services at risk through massive cuts."