100 GP practices in rural England 'may shut amid cuts'

Around 100 GP practices could be forced to close due to cuts in national funding, leaving patients in rural areas without a GP, doctors' leaders have warned.

GP: funds cut will have 'huge impact' on a small practice

GP Dr Katharina Frey, who runs a small practice in Cumbria, appeared on ITV's Daybreak this morning to discuss her concerns over plans to phase out the Minimum Practice Income Guarantee (MPIG).

Read: 100 GP practices in England 'may shut amid cuts'

"Our actual patient numbers are quite low, but we have quite high overheads, so we don't really have the economies of scale" she told the programme.

Dr Frey warned the "viability" of the practice might be threatened by funding cuts.

"We want to be able to provide excellent care, but if more and more funding is going to disappear, this will be getting increasingly difficult."

Catch up with Daybreak on ITV Player

Government will 'phase out' GP funding arrangement

The Government has decided to phase out a funding arrangement called the Minimum Practice Income Guarantee (MPIG) over a seven-year period, beginning in April - a move that doctors' leaders have warned could force around 100 GP practices to close.

MPIG means many smaller GP practices are guaranteed a minimum level of funding that is not dependent on the number of patients on their practice list.

NHS England has published an anonymised list of 98 'outlier' practices that could lose more than £3 per patient per year.

Some practices on the list will lose more than £100 per patient per year while others stand to lose around £20 or £30 per patient.

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Patients in rural England 'could be left without a GP'

Around 100 GP practices could be forced to close due to cuts in national funding, leaving patients in rural areas without a GP, doctors' leaders have warned.

Around 100 GP practices in rural areas could be forced to close due to cuts in national funding. Credit: PA

Changes to how practices are paid mean some could no longer be viable, despite the fact some "provide vital services to thousands of rural patients", the British Medical Association (BMA) said.

It warned that large areas of rural England could be left with no GP practice for local residents.

Read: One in three GP practices fails to meet basic standards