GP practice 'offloaded vulnerable patients to save money'?
According to documents obtained by a freedom of information request, the NHS launched an investigation into Churchill medical practice in Kingston last year after complaints that it had let go of 48 patients who required high levels of care. Local doctors complained as they had been expected to take on the vulnerable and costly patients – some with Alzheimer's disease – at short notice.
Churchill's senior partner was Charles Alessi, now chair of the National Association of Primary Care, who has written in the Sun and appeared on television backing the coalition's health reforms. According to the documents, the practice claimed it was forced to drop the patients because they had to cut staff after NHS funding dried up in March last year.
NHS South-west London found that Churchill was in breach of its "contractual obligations to patients" by removing the patients and that it had done so "predominantly for financial reasons". The NHS issued a breach of contract notice. Three infringements would mean that Churchill's GPs lost the right to practice.
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