Here is the text of an email I sent to my MP, Sir Simon Burns, yesterday; Sir Simon is a sometime minister of health.
Dear Sir Simon,
You may already be aware of the notice I have attached to this email concerning the resignation of the senior team at Sutherland Lodge Surgery in Chelmsford.
Doctors there have been looking after me and my family for the 35 years that we have lived here. I am absolutely staggered, that with our new city status, at a time of an aging population – with a number of new sheltered housing projects being built in Chelmsford right now and with new housing appearing almost anywhere that there is a place to build, that a successful practice should lose a third of its current funding.
Would you please, as a matter of extreme urgency, investigate what on earth is going on and let me know, if this is not a joke in very bad taste, just how my wife and I will continue to get the general medical care we will need in the future.
Yours sincerely etc.
The note should be self-explanatory; the four senior GPs, all of whom at one time or another have treated me and my family over at least the last 25 years or so, have resigned en masse with effect from June 2016 as a result of the catastrophic reduction in funding.
I am almost at a loss for words at what has happened. Is this another triumph for the Minister of Health, Jeremy Hunt? I await an explanation with extreme interest and will reproduce any relevant facts here.
Update 13th January:
A rather positive reply received yesterday
Dear Dr Maggs,
Thank you for your email about the Sutherland Lodge GP Practice and I am as concerned as you are about the situation.
The situation has arisen as a result of the Government phasing out the Minimum Practice Income Guarantee, which was announced two years ago. The purpose of this change in funding is to eliminate a problem that arose as a result of the 2004 GP Contract.
I am attaching a letter I received from the then Minister at the time and paragraphs 2 and 3 outline the situation. Notwithstanding this, I am extremely concerned about the impact that this is having on Sutherland Lodge and as a matter of urgency, I have written to the Secretary of State for Health and NHS England to see if anything can be done to alleviate the impact that this is going to have on what is a first rate GP Practice in Chelmsford.
I have had an opportunity to speak to the Health Minister responsible for GP services and explained to him my deep concerns about the impact this policy is having on GP Practices. He has promised to look into this as a matter of urgency and will get back to me. I hope that as a result of this intervention something can be done to rectify what I believe is an inadvertent consequence of changes to the funding of GP Practices.
The Rt. Hon. Sir Simon Burns MP
Member of Parliament for Chelmsford
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