I’m worried that Islington’s GP surgeries may be heading for crisis. One practice -; Mitchison Road -; has already announced that it will close this summer, and information from NHS England with regard to what will happen to its 5,000 patients has not been forthcoming…

A large number of my constituents have contacted me to share their concerns about this issue. More worrying still, when I wrote to NHS England about Mitchison Road earlier this year, I was warned that the resignation of two single-handed GPs -; including one at Huntingdon Road surgery -; is likely to cause further disruption to the provision of these vital services.

I am continuing to press NHS England for answers to the important questions patients are still asking -; whether there is still scope for another provider to take over the practice, for example, and whether other GP surgeries in the area have the capacity to take on the burden of so many new patients -; and I look forward to taking the opportunity to question Jeremy Hunt about these issues next week.

By changing the funding formula in a way that has disadvantaged practices in deprived, inner London areas, the Tory government has helped create the mess Islington’s GP surgeries are in.

GP practices are at the heart of a well-functioning NHS, and as the last five years has shown, patients often face no choice but to go to A&E if they’re unable to get an appointment to see their GP, further increasing the strain on our already overburdened hospitals. It’s time for the government to take responsibility and do something about this unacceptable situation.

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