GP surgery in St Neots will not be taking on any more new patients

NHS England

NHS England - Credit: Archant

A doctor’s surgery in St Neots has applied to a national health body to formally close its patient list.

The decision, if approved by NHS England, will mean the Cedar House Surgery, in Huntingdon Street, will not take any new patients for a period of 12 months.

The surgery has already made an informal decision to close its list and is no longer accepting new patients, which has raised concerns.

The Hunts Post has been contacted by several families who have been turned away after seeking treatment.

One told us patients were being advised to ring NHS Direct or consult a pharmacist before making an appointment and accessing information had been difficult.

“When it comes to things like insurance company access to medical reports, the surgery won’t even give a time scale,” the patient told us.

“They used to quote six to eight weeks and now they won’t even do that, the result being that my insurance policy remains “under review” and maybe cancelled as a result.”

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Another patient told us he needed treatment for a knee injury, but because he had left the surgery four week’s previously to take up a post in the Royal Navy, he was refused an appointment.

Andrea Patman, head of commissioning for NHS England (midlands and east) told The Hunts Post: “Ensuring patients have access to safe, high quality care when they need it is a priority for NHS England. We are aware that the Cedar House Surgery in St Neots has decided to informally close its list to new patients to maintain the quality of services to existing patients. The practice has now sought formal approval from NHS England to close its list, and in line with NHS England policy, we are consulting with neighbouring practices in the St Neots area to help inform this decision.

“If the request is approved and the list is formally closed, the practice will not be able to accept new patients, except family and household members of existing registered patients, until the end of the approved closure period.

“If the request to formally close the list is approved, we will work with Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group to explore options for reopening the list.”

Asked whether there were issues at other GP surgeries in St Neots, NHS England replied: “There are no other GP practices in St Neots which have closed their lists to new patients.”

NHS England also acknowledged that GPs are under enormous pressure and says it is investing £15m to boost the workforce and is allocating £10m to help vulnerable practices. A new national scheme will also be launched to support GPs, and work is ongoing with bodies, including the Royal College of GPs (RCGPs) and the British Medical Association (BMA), to develop new services to tackle stress and burnout.

NHS England told The Hunts Post hat 5,000 new GPs had been appointed in the last 10 years.

INFO: Anyone with concerns can contact NHS England on 0300 311 2233 or Healthwatch Cambridgeshire on 01480 420628.