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Surgery tells patients to find another doc’

PUBLISHED: 16:00 24 November 2008 | UPDATED: 13:49 05 October 2010

HUNDREDS of patients in London’s deprived East End are having to find new GPs as one surgery trims its panel list.

The result of a Government directive to update doctors’ panel lists is that many registered at Spitalfields Practice in Old Montague Street have received letters to tell them to switch to other surgeries, following the discovery that hundreds live outside the catchment area.

Gemma Collins

HUNDREDS of patients in London’s deprived East End are having to find new GPs as one surgery trims its panel list.

The result of a Government directive to update doctors’ panel lists is that many registered at Spitalfields Practice in Old Montague Street have received letters to tell them to switch to other surgeries, following the discovery that hundreds live outside the catchment area.

One patient is 80-year-old Leonarda Piwowarczyk, who has been on the panel more than 50 years, but lives a mile away in Shadwell. Her son George is also on the panel, but lives closer and hasn’t been asked to leave.

“The surgery says it’s still accepting new patients,” he said. “So how can they just stop her service? We are both at the surgery so I can pick up her prescriptions.”

The practice revealed that a doctor who has now retired had been taking on patients outside the catchment area.

Practice manager Michael Search said: “The Government has made it clear we shouldn’t hold on to patients who live closer to other surgeries.” They “have to be removed and we can’t make exceptions.”

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