“More than 350 GP surgeries face closure in England alone over the next 12 months”

“Up to 3m patients are expected to lose their GP surgery within a year because of a shortage of doctors.

More than 350 practices face closure in England alone over the next 12 months, according to a survey of doctors for the Royal College of General Practitioners.

Doctors’ leaders, patients’ groups and MPs expressed alarm and warned that general practice was at “serious risk” of collapse.

Rising numbers of GPs are retiring early, becoming locums in the private sector, changing career or moving abroad.

As well as pressure to work longer hours and see more patients, the closures are being driven by GPs deciding to stop work when their pension pots exceed £1m and attract heavy taxes. They are not being replaced by trainees despite intense regional NHS recruitment drives and £20,000 golden hellos. GPs earn £92,500 on average.

In an interview with The Sunday Times, Britain’s most senior GP said surgeries were “haemorrhaging doctors”. Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard, college chairwoman, said she was “gravely concerned” by the findings.”

Source: The Times (pay wall)