Tory health minister for GPs sees local surgery shut due to lack of doctors

CREDIT: This story was first seen in the Mirror

Doctor shortages are forcing the closure of a surgery in the constituency of the Tory minister responsible for GPs,  the Mirror reports.

Steve Brine MP , hired by Theresa May as Health Minister in charge of general practice, boasted the NHS was his ‘No one priority’ and told voters he had ‘big ambitions’ around ‘securing greater access to GPs’.

But 7,000 patients in Chandler’s Ford, Hants, have been told in a letter: “The Brownhill Surgery has informed the NHS they will no longer be able to provide general medical services after November 30.

“The decision has been taken due to difficulties in the recruitment of GPs as a result of national GP shortages and increasing workload.”

Patients said Steve Brine had made no contact since the announcement.

Patrick Haywood, 70, a patient for 35 years, said: “We’re annoyed it’s happened on his watch.

“The only thing we’ve had is from the NHS, telling us it’s closing.”

Patients fear the knock-on effect on other surgeries, as 7,000 from Brownhill seek a new doctor.

The news came after Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt praised Mr Brine at the Tory conference as “savvy” and claimed the Government had presided over “one of the biggest ever increases” in doctors.

The Tories promised in 2015 to hire an extra 5,000 GPs by 2020 . But there are 350 fewer GPs than two years ago.

Two weeks ago, Mr Brine claimed the government had made ‘a range of improvements’ to ‘boost recruitment’. He added: “In 2016 3,019 new starters were recruited.”

And last night Mr Brine said he had “offered every support to see the minimum level of disruption to patients” at the Brownhill surgery.

Labour Shadow Health Secretary Jonathan Ashworth said: “The government created the crisis and now we find Tory ministers can’t even save their own surgeries.”

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