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GP brands NHS shake-up "madness"

PUBLISHED: 12:16 03 October 2011

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A GP has branded government plans to abolish NHS boundaries, allowing patients to choose a GP anywhere in the country, "mad" and "dangerous".

Dr George Farrelly who runs the Tredegar Practice at Stephen’s Road in Bow, says politicians are making “unrealistic and unworkable” promises.

He also believes boundary changes will prepare the ground for “privatisation through the backdoor”.

‘Dangerous’

Dr Farrelly has set up a website, called One GP’s Protest, in response to a government white paper proposing to give patients the right to register with any GP practice, irrespective of where they live, from April next year.

“People might think it sounds like a good idea but it makes delivering quality care more difficult, less efficient, drains resources and is at times dangerous,” he said.

“Patients may delay seeing us if they live further away.

“If a patient is too far away he may go to his nearest A&E when it is something we could have dealt with.

“That’s inappropriate and we get billed. It’s £67 if one of our patients goes to A&E and up to £1,000 if they are admitted to a ward.”

GPs are currently working at full capacity and if patients from outside register they take the place of a resident, he said.

Choice

A spokesman for the Department of Heath said: “The vast majority of patients told us they want to be able to register with a GP practice of their choice in our consultation on practice boundaries. We aim to give patients far greater choice of GP practice.

“We are currently discussing our proposals with GP representatives.”

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