The BMJ reports on the announcement of plans to “remove incentives for general practices to have “open but full” patient lists”. It explains:
“Currently if a practice wants to close its patient list and stop accepting new patients it risks losing the right to provide additional and enhanced services. As a result some practices keep their list open but stop accepting new patients, declaring their list “open but full.”
“This term is not legally recognised within the contractual arrangements for GPs and is confusing to patients, the health department has said.
“… The department also plans to give practices more say over the closure period and allow practices to reopen their lists when they choose, subject to a notice period. However, practices will no longer be able to open or close their lists according to growth or contraction of their patient population, the so called “ping pong” arrangements.
GPs’ patient lists are an issue we’ve covered previously on HMI Health. In September we published data on patient lists (we now have national data covering 4 years) and in January we profiled the One GP’s Protest blog, which talked about the problems with registration policy and the move to remove boundaries to GP practices, the scheme which these announcements are intended to support.
If you want to help investigate either patient lists or boundaries, get in touch.