Brent MP Sarah Teather renews warning against GP list cleansing

The Lib Dem says she has been contacted by patients and GPs concerned about the plans

Plans to clear GPs’ books of thousands of patients should be delayed to prevent vulnerable patients from being left without a doctor, the Brent Central MP has said.

Sarah Teather has renewed her warnings against the Brent Primary Care Trust’s (PCT) plans to strike people from their doctor’s register if they do not respond to two letters.

Speaking out against the plans, the Lib Dem MP said: “Access to a local GP is one of the most important features of our National Health Service.

“Brent PCT needs to make sure they are doing everything possible to safeguard this access for everyone in Brent. This means making sure that there is enough time for vulnerable patients to be reached and for administrative errors to be rectified.”

Ms Teather said she has been contacted by residents who claim not to have received the letter, fuelling concerns that Brent PCT has put in place safeguards to ensure that vulnerable patients, including the elderly.

All patients who have not responded to letters from the PCT will be removed from their GP’s list today (9) if the GP’s practice cannot provide evidence of having had contact with the patient in the last 6 months.

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An NHS London spokesman said: “Primary Care Trusts (PCTs) are encouraged to make sure their GP lists are kept up to date – but this must be done with the utmost care to make sure patients who still wish to be registered with a practice are not accidentally removed.

“PCTs must take extra care especially when checking details for vulnerable patients or the elderly.”