East End patients to get their pick of GPs

by Gemma Collins EAST End patients will be able to register with any GP they want, under reforms backed by the Health Secretary today. Current rules that force patients t

by Gemma Collins

EAST End patients will be able to register with any GP they want, under reforms backed by the Health Secretary today.

Current rules that force patients to see a doctor near their home could be scrapped within the year, giving residents the chance to sign up to any surgery in Tower Hamlets or anywhere in London.

Health Secretary Andy Burnham says by abandoning catchment areas it will help to "drive up standards" as surgeries that lose patients will be forced to improve their care or could face closure.

It will also allow patients to register with a GP near their workplace rather than their home.

But critics have raised their concerns that GPs with good reputations could be overrun, it could prove difficult for home visits to commuters registered near work and the future of surgeries in remote areas could be threatened.