Nigel Evans, today, during Prime Minister’s Questions, asked David Cameron to look into the potential closure of Slaidburn Country because of the removal of the Minimum Practice Income Guarantee (MPIG) funding.
The exchange was as follows:
“With the disappearance of the minimum practice income guarantee, many doctors’ surgeries serving remote rural areas such as the one in Slaidburn in my constituency face death not by a thousand cuts, but perhaps by one cut. They serve many elderly residents and a number of children who do not have access to great public transport to go into neighbouring Clitheroe. Will the Prime Minister investigate this issue and ensure that my constituents will not be isolated and will continue to receive the excellent service that they do now from their doctors’ surgery?”
The Prime Minister:
“I will look carefully at the case the hon. Gentleman makes. I, too, represent a large rural constituency where there are still small practices. It is the case, however, that many more doctors’ surgeries are offering many more services with practice nurses and other assistance given to patients. We want to see that growing, not least to make sure that people can go to GP surgeries rather than accident and emergency units if it is a GP that they need, but I will look at the specific point that he makes.”
After Prime Minister’s Questions, Mr Evans said:
“I am pleased that the Prime Minister said that he would look carefully at this important issue and I will be following that up with his office. I will also be meeting with Ros Roughton, Head of GP Commissioning at NHS England, later this month along with Dr Massey and other representatives from the practice.
“I am hopeful that we will find a solution that means that the surgery will stay open serving the community and residents and I will continue to campaign with all relevant people in order to achieve that outcome.”