Tower Hamlets MPs, Rushanara Ali MP and Jim Fitzpatrick MP and supporters of the ‘Save Our Surgeries’ campaign submitted a letter to 10 Downing Street alongside a petition signed by 20,000 people calling on Prime Minister David Cameron to stop GP surgeries nationwide closing down.
The letter has been signed by 11 Labour MPs. The campaign was set up by GPs and patients in response to Government plans to phase out funding known as the ‘minimum practice income guarantee’ (MPIG) for GP surgeries across the UK.
The Government is phasing out the MPIG and many practices are threatened with bankruptcy. NHS England identified 98 ‘outlier’ surgeries across the UK which will struggle to survive as a result. Although the Government has so far failed to publish the names of the threatened surgeries, it is known that 22 serve communities across Tower Hamlets, Hackney and Newham. Five are known to be in Tower Hamlets alone.
The petition calls on the Government to ‘fund general practices fairly, and reverse the effects of your decision to withdraw the MPIG, and to change the funding formula to take account of the effects of deprivation, both inner city and rural so that all practices are fairly funded.’
MPs who have co-signed the letter to David Cameron: Meg Hillier MP, Dame Joan Ruddock MP, Kate Hoey MP, Heidi Alexander MP, Lyn Brown MP, Seema Malhotra MP, Diane Abbott MP, Jim Fitzpatrick MP, Rt Hon Frank Dobson MP and Jim Dowd MP.