Approximately 35% of GP practices may close lists to new patients

Written by: Sofia Lind
Published on: 11 Dec 2017

Over a third of practices (37%) may end up not accepting new patients in the near future, a Pulse survey of GPs has revealed.

When asked whether their practice has looked at the option of temporary list closure over the past year, 9% of 500 GP respondents said they 'have already done it'.

And a further 28% said they 'are considering it'.

Meanwhile, NHS England approved fewer temporary list closure requests in 2016/17 compared to the year before.

In all, 145 requests to close lists were granted last year, compared to 175 in 2015/16, a Freedom of Information request to NHS England has revealed.

Proportionally, this means that NHS England turned down 37% of requests in the last year.

This compares to 30% in 2013 and 20% in 2012, the last time Pulse were provided with figures.

'Closing lists seems the only viable way to ensure patient safety'

The news comes as the BMA has signalled that it will not go ahead to organise the closing of practice lists in a mass action.

This followed its own GP survey finding 54% of practices in England would be willing to close their lists temporarily, while 44% said they would be willing to close lists permanently.

A number of GPs told Pulse they had applied to close their lists but were told by NHS England or health boards that they were not allowed.