In January 2015, NHS England brought in new arrangements whereby all GP practices were free to register (or re-register if you are moving) patients outside their practice area without any obligation on the practice to provide home visits or out of hours care.
Under these regulations we were able to offer patients the majority of our services including routine and urgent in hours appointments at the surgery. However, in the event that patients required a home visit or out of hours care they should contact NHS 111 who would direct patients to a local service.
Unfortunately, due to a lack of promotion and support of this scheme from NHS England, we have become aware that NHS 111 are unable to signpost patients to a service that will support them in the event that they require a home visit or out of hours care. The majority of practices country-wide no longer support these arrangements.
As it is our responsibility to ensure that our patients receive a safe, high quality primary care service, and under these arrangements we can no longer guarantee this, we are left with no alternative but to cease registering patients that reside outside our practice boundary. We must also ask all those who are currently registered under these arrangements to find an alternative practice more local to them.
We are fully aware that for some patients who have built up strong relationships with our practice and clinicians over many years, this will be very distressing, however we have been left with no choice, and this is a decision we are making for the safety of our patients.
If you require any assistance finding an alternative GP practice, please speak to a Receptionist, or visit www.nhs.uk which has a useful “GP Finder” tool