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General Practitioners: Closures

Department of Health written question – answered on 27th February 2017.

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Photo of Steve McCabe Steve McCabe Labour, Birmingham, Selly Oak

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what the minimum notice period is that clinical commissioning groups are required to give patients when a GP surgery is to close.

Photo of Steve McCabe Steve McCabe Labour, Birmingham, Selly Oak

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, whether clinical commissioning groups are required to consult patients before closing a GP surgery.

Photo of David Mowat David Mowat The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health

There is no defined statutory requirement for a notice period to patients when a general practitioner surgery is to close.

NHS England’s guidance for commissioners, the Primary Medical Care Policy Book, suggests that between nine and 15 months prior to contract end, commissioners should undertake a needs and impact assessment and develop an engagement plan, and between two and 10 months before contract end, the commissioners should commence negotiation for the continuation of or procurement of an alternative Primary Medical Service provider, or the appropriate exit plan (including communication to patients).

Only at contract end would the patient list be dispersed, at which point patients would be notified and informed of their right to choose an alternative provider. Details of other local providers could be provided as part of this communication.

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