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Results of GPC practice list closure survey

You will be aware that the results of GPC’s survey of GP practices in England on their willingness to close practice lists have been published. . The full results, broken down by region, are included below but you are encouraged to access further information via the BMA website: via the website.

With a turnout of 23.9% (similar to previous surveys of the profession), the results show that a small majority of those responding would consider temporarily suspending new patient registration, but only a minority would be in favour of applying for a formal list closure.

While the results may not be definitive (when combining the turnout with the results it shows less than 13% of all practices support temporary suspension of patient registrations), the strength of feeling shown by those who responded means GPC is calling on the government to urgently address the current crisis. Practices have judged that the GP Forward View is failing across England to make general practice sustainable or indeed to provide the support that practices need right now and so the government and NHS England must do more and must do it immediately.

 Turnout  23.9%      

(% of respondents)


(% of all practices)

(% of respondents)

(% of all practices) 
Temporary suspension of patient registration
 53.74%  12.84%  46.26%  11.05%
Application for formal list closure
 43.96%  10.5%  56.04%  13.39%



YES (temporary suspension of patient registration)
 YES (application for formal list closure)
Response rate
East Midlands
 61.08%  54.05%  30%
East of England
 56.61%  45.50%  25%
London  69.89%  49.40%  12%
North East
 44.05%  32.14%  22%
North West
 52.04%  42.53%  18%
South West
 40.38%  33.58%  38%
South Central
 56.90%  51.69%  25%
South East
 60.75%  50.97%  36%
West Midlands
 57.50%  43.04%  25%
Yorkshire & the Humber
 40.21% 37.04%

Following discussion with the GPC England executive, policy leads and sessional GP executive members, GPC will not, at this stage, be making a decision about moving to a formal industrial action ballot of the profession, but using the results to support negotiations and to call on the government to deal with the current crisis with far greater urgency.

There is much the government needs to do but key areas include:

The LMC England Conference in November followed by the GPC England meeting the following week, provides a timeframe for negotiating with Government to seek the resolutions we need.

Regardless of the results of this survey, we know that many practices face real and unsustainable pressures today and need to act now to protect their current patients. In such situations practices have always been able to temporarily suspend patient registration of their own accord, as long as they have reasonable grounds that are not related to the characteristics of the patient. The BMA’s guidance on temporarily suspending patient registrations can be found on the Quality First pages of the BMA website and we would encourage LMCs to support practices in such situations.


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