A record of 138 general practices was closed last year because millions had difficulty securing appointments.
They closed more than twice a week, with consequences for more than 500,000 patients.
Still in 2013 there were only 18 operations in the UK. By last year, that number had risen almost eightfold, according to figures released today.
It means that 585 practices have disappeared in the last six years – for a population of nearly 1.9 million.
More GP interventions are out of the question than ever before, as shocking figures show that 138 people closed their doors in 2018, a sharp increase of 18 in 2013
Areas around the world have been affected by the closure. The photo shows the ten toughest & # 39; s, number one in North Hampshire, with nearly 62,000 affected patients
The closures come just as the pressure on GPs increases because the population is both growing and aging.
Experts believe that the speed of surgical closures is accelerating because more and more oppressed doctors are opting for early retirement – or decide to end their career.
At the same time, managers find it much more difficult to fill in the empty posts and in many cases they have no choice but to permanently close their doors or merge with another operation.
THE 10 AREAS WITH THE HIGHEST AMOUNT OF INFECTED PATIENTS
The following are health boards or CCGs with the highest number of patients affected by a branch closure or merger.
1. North Hampshire: 61,973
2. Aneurin Bevan University Health Board: 29,476
3. Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board: 21,594
4. Ipswich and East Suffolk: 20,591
5. Walsall: 16,422
6. Brighton and Hove: 15.819
7. Dudley: 14,370
8. HSCNI, Northern Ireland: 12,440
9. Dorset: 11,922
10. Mansfield and Ashfield: 11,088
10. Gloucestershire: 11,088
Last night, patient groups and general practitioners described the trend as & # 39; incredibly serious & # 39 ;, especially for the elderly and people who rely on public transportation.
The pressure on GP services is higher than ever. Since 2013, the number of people living in the UK has risen from 64 million in 2013 to nearly 67 million.
But the number of general practitioners has not kept pace, making it increasingly difficult for patients to secure appointments.
Individual data from yesterday showed that the NHS actually lost 441 fully qualified general practitioners in the past year.
Meanwhile, further surgical closures are planned for the coming weeks in Birmingham, North London, Coventry, Oxfordshire, Cornwall and Dorset.
Patients affected by closures usually have to register for a new practice, which may be further away and involve a complicated journey by public transportation.
Data received from the Pulse magazine with Freedom of Information requests showed that 138 operations in the United Kingdom were terminated in 2018, affecting an estimated 519,500 patients. That had risen from 134 in 2017 and compared to 18 in 2013, according to the responses from 186 Clinical Commissioning Groups – local health trusts.
There are no official figures about whether new operations are opened, but GPs point out that this is unlikely and that the numbers are minimal.
A fifth of the closures in 2018 consisted of mergers where smaller organizations were taken over by larger companies in the area to form super-operations. These can still be enormously disturbing for patients.
Rachel Power of the Patients Association said: & # 39; Patients are right when they feel alarmed. Many may wonder if their practice is next. It is particularly worrying to see smaller practices being forced to shut up.
& # 39; Many of their patients will have built a close relationship with their doctor for many years. These closures allow patients to wait a long time and push more to A&E – which we know is under heavy pressure. & # 39;
The Cornish fishing village of Mevaigassy is going to lose its only current GP as a wave of closures in Britain
Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard, president of the Royal College of GPs said: & # 39; These figures are sad but unfortunately not surprising.
& # 39; GPs and our teams work at our absolute limits to provide safe, high-quality care, while general practice is under pressure and this leads to some GPs leaving the profession and in other cases forcing them to close their doors.
& # 39; In some areas, closures are the result of merging operations or joining federations to pool their resources and provide additional services.
& # 39; But when an exercise is completed … it is heartbreaking for all involved, especially those patients who have to travel long distances to their new surgery and get to know new teams. & # 39;
Dr. Richard Vautrey, chairman of the British Medical Association's GP committee, said: & These figures clearly show that the pressure of practices has increased over the past decade, as workload increases, more doctors are leaving and operations are struggling to get new recruit staff. & # 39;
The BMA has warned that more and more general practitioners and advisers are retiring early or shortening their work to prevent the pension from being heavily taxed, making it unprofitable to continue practicing. Retired GP & # 39; s often create a domino effect by allowing remaining colleagues to do more work, which in turn become demoralized and stop.
The problem is exacerbated by the fact that more doctors are now working part-time.
Data from NHS Digital showed that the number of qualified, full-time GPs decreased from 29,190 in March 2018 to 28,697.
NHS England, which runs the health service, said it refuted the Pulse figures & # 39 ;. It pointed to its own data indicating that the pace of closures was slowing. A spokesperson said: & # 39; In England, there were fewer patient closures and dispersions in 2017/18 compared to 2016/17.
& # 39; Thousands of practices are still supported by the GP Resilience Program, with investments being increased from a planned £ 8 million in 2019/20 to £ 13 million.
|CCG / health council / local team||country||Total number of affected patients in 2018|
|Aneurin Bevan University Health Board||Wales||29,476|
|Barking and Dagenham||England||2738|
|Basildon and Brentwood||England||6233|
|Bath and North East Somerset||England||6000|
|Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board||Wales||21,594|
|Birmingham and Solihul||England||2195|
|Brighton and Hove||England||15,819|
|Cardiff and Vale UHB||Wales||3696|
|Castle Point and Rochford||England||8597|
|East Leicestershire and Rutland||England||360|
|Fylde and Wyre||England||3696|
|Ipswich and East Suffolk||England||20,591|
|Mansfield and Ashfield||England||11,088|
|NHS Ayrshire and Arran||Scotland||7487|
|NHS Dumfries and Galloway||Scotland||2319|
|NHS England did not specify||England||28,161|
|NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde||Scotland||5729|
|North Yorkshire and Humber West Yorkshire||England||3696|
|North East Essex||England||3000|
|Redditch and Bromsgrove||England||2298|
|Shropshire and Staffordshire||England||7392|
|South Kent Coast||England||3696|
|Tameside and Glossop||England||3696|
|Vale of York||England||3696|
MORE THAN 700 GP SURGEONS WOULD BE CLOSED IN 2023
More than 2.5 million patients across England were able to complete their GP practices in the next five years, experts revealed in November.
The Royal College of General Practitioners said that 762 practices in the UK are at risk of being closed within the next five years because at least three-quarters of their doctors are 55 or older and are about to retire.
Experts said that so many closures have a & # 39; catastrophic & # 39; impact on health care.
The waiting times for appointments can become even longer, the workload will increase and more people can stand in line at A&E for less serious illnesses.
Campaigners warned that possible closures & # 39; dangerous & # 39; would be for patients and advocate & # 39; drastic measures & # 39; to encourage new GPs to join the profession.
The situation is worst in Southend in Essex, where 13 out of 35 area practices are at risk of being closed, potentially affecting nearly 39,000 patients.
A third of operations in the Havering district of London could stop and more than 85,000 patients could lose their GP in Sandwell and West Birmingham.
According to the RCGP estimates, only about a quarter of the areas in England have no practices at risk of being closed.
Figures from the Royal College of General Practitioners have revealed that 762 general practice practices in the UK are likely to be closed in the next five years (map shows the number of operations in each area that is likely to be closed)
Villagers campaign to save their local surgery after the practice is terminated if a new doctor cannot intervene when the current doctor retires in July
Patients in a remote fishing village in Cornish are desperately campaigning to find a doctor.
The only doctor at the Mevagissey operation will leave in July and unless it can be replaced, it will close.
There are 5,300 patients in the village near Saint Austell, many of whom are elderly and unable to drive.
They are a campaign & # 39; Will You Be My GP & # 39; started on social media in the hope of attracting a doctor.
The only doctor at the Mevagissey operation is leaving in July and unless it can be replaced, it will close, with many residents starting a campaign
Resident Nicola Mason said: & I and my son both suffer from severe asthma and quite often need the help of a nebulizer that we can use as soon as possible when we need it.
& # 39; This has been – and has been – a rescue for us. Without the operation, we will have to travel longer and wait to receive life-saving treatment. & # 39;
Ken Sweet, 86, lives in the area but was born in Mevagissey and said: & my wife and I have been a patient for 30 years and it is difficult to undergo a new operation.
& # 39; As you get older, you need more regular care and it is very worrying that we may not get it. & # 39;
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