Limehouse ‘Save Our Surgeries’ protest

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Limehouse surgery practice nurse JUNE GRAY addressing yesterday’s protest against cuts to east London GP surgeries
Limehouse surgery practice nurse JUNE GRAY addressing yesterday’s protest against cuts to east London GP surgeries

EAST London GPs, patients and supporters yesterday staged a protest in Limehouse against cuts in funding that threaten to bankrupt around a dozen surgeries in Tower Hamlets.

Maggie Falshaw, chair of Save Our Surgeries, told News Line: ‘We’re here because the government has changed the way it funds general practice.

‘As a result, about ten or twelve practices in Tower Hamlets will no longer be financially viable.

‘We’re demonstrating to demand the current cuts to general practice are halted, and that there is a fairer funding formula that takes deprivation into account.

‘We are protesting in the shadow of Canary Wharf towers because our money has bailed out the banks when it should be spent on health, education and social services.’

Limehouse Practice GP Noreen Bhatti, added: ‘The time has come to put more money into the system.

‘When you are down to counting the last staple, it is time the government realised we need more money.

‘The attack on our surgeries in particular is an attack on poor people.’

Limehouse Practice senior practice nurse June Gray told a short rally: ‘We’ve taken pay cuts as much as we can. We’re now on the breadline.

‘It’s not just our surgery. There are ten others in Tower Hamlets who face bankruptcy. We all work together to share good practice, so if one of us goes, the possibility is others in the network will fall as well.

‘The government are trying to change things without really understanding what happens at grass roots.

‘The worrying thing is there are more cuts to come in the NHS, that this is not the end but just the beginning.’

Elliot Singer, a GP from Chingford, said: ‘Our patients need us. Our patients need a GP service. It needs to be appropriately resourced to enable us to provide the care that patients need and want.’