London GPs are “sitting on a three-year timebomb,” Dr Michelle Drage, chief executive of Londonwide LMCs said, in light of a new survey.
In London one in ten GP practices could close by 2018, according to a survey by Londonwide LMCs.
Of the 431 GP practices that responded to the survey 43 said they expect GP retirements in the next three years and are considering terminating their GP contract.
Dr Michelle Drage, Londonwide LMCs’ Chief Executive said: “We have seen massively increased demand at the doors of all our general practices. The community, social and mental health services which used to support GPs have been dramatically reduced as we try to handle all the multiple conditions that accompany our diverse, often deprived, highly mobile and ageing society in the face of a diminishing workforce. To be meaningful and have an impact, finance must first be made available up-front to allow GPs to manage existing workload.”
Recruitment issues mean practice staff are difficult to replace; 202 practices surveyed, or 47%, say they currently have unfilled vacancies for GPs and practice nurses. Lack of suitable GPs interested in job openings and the financial uncertainty affecting practices were cited as the two main factors preventing GP recruitment. And 70% of practices anticipate a GP retiring in the next three years.
Speaking separately to the Huffington Post, she said that she is “frightened for the future of general practice in London. We are sitting on top of a three-year time bomb”.