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Patients to be able to register with any GP

30th December 2011

Patients will be able to choose which GP they register with under new plans from the coalition government.

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That could mean patients using GPs several miles from where they live, or registering closer to where they work under proposals to offer a greater choice.

It will also mean patients can keep the same family doctor when the move house with moves by ministers do away with GP practice boundaries.

The scheme will be piloted in parts of London, Manchester and Nottingham for a year from April, though some doctors have raised concerns about continuity of care.

Health Secretary Andrew Lansley said: “Many patients are happy with their local GP practice, but a significant minority have problems registering with a practice of their choice.

This pilot will mean patients taking part can access the high quality care they deserve in a place and at a time that suits them.

“That’s why I believe patients should have the freedom to choose a GP practice that suits their lives, and not be restricted by geographical boundaries.”

London GP Dr Laurence Buckman, Chairman of the British Medical Association’s GPs Committee, said the BMA looked forward to seeing the results of the pilot.

“Either way there will undoubtedly be lessons that need to be learned and it will be important for all sides to do that before there can be any further developments,” he said.

The Patients Association welcomed the plan but said it did not expect to see a huge number of patients changing practices.

 

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