Over half of GP surgeries in Huddersfield are facing hardship after being told their budgets would be cut.
NHS England is to cut its budget for 22 of the 38 practices in Huddersfield and its surrounding villages.
The surgeries, which fall within Greater Huddersfield Clinical Commissioning Group’s (CCG) area, currently receive more funding as part of special contracts to meet local needs.
But NHS England has imposed a flat funding rate per patient which could lead to substantial cuts for 58% of practices in the CCG area over the next three years.
Around 40% of surgeries will be affected nationally.
The proposal is expected to save the NHS £2m locally, although the money will be redistributed within the CCG patch.
One of the practices affected is Slaithwaite Health Centre which fears it could close after its budget was slashed by 44%.
Some of the surgery’s 4,800 patients have launched a ‘Family Doctor SOS (Save our Surgeries)’ on social media after the surgery announced it would have to almost halve the number of appointments with its doctors and nurses.
Practice director Dr Paul Wilding has warned that the cuts will cause longer waiting lists and add pressure to already stretched accident and emergency services.
Dr Wilding said: “We do not believe that we can provide a safe service with these proposed staffing levels.
“Same day access will be severely restricted and the waiting time for routine appointments will be up to two weeks.
“Slaithwaite patients will access 999 and A&E services more frequently and the number of unnecessary hospital admissions will rise.
“The net cost to the wider system will be far more than the money saved from our budget.”
Dr Wilding added: “We are NHS employees with little scope for challenging this nonsense. The proportion of NHS spending on primary care is now at a historical low – around eight percent – to deliver over 1m consultations per day nationally.
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“The country needs investment in GP services. The NHS should be a levelling up funding for GP practices, not robbing Peter to pay Paul.”
A statement on behalf of the surgery added: “We embrace change but eschew death by a thousand cuts. These impending cuts to GP services nationally will have disastrous consequences for the wider NHS now and in the future.”