Nearly 200 GP practices closed in the 12 months to January 2017, official data suggests. Data on GP practice populations released by NHS Digital this month lists just 7,532 GP practices - down 181 from the total a year earlier in January 2016.
The figures show that practice closures are not slowing down as GPs wait for government pledges of investment through the GP Forward View to take effect.
GPC chair Dr Chaand Nagpaul warned at last year's BMA annual representative meeting that practices closures had hit 'record levels', with 201 shutting down in the 2015/16 financial year.
If closures continue at the current rate, around one in 10 of England's existing GP practices could be wiped out by the end of the decade. Warnings from GPs, however, suggest the trend could be set to accelerate, with one in 10 GPs reporting that their practice is at risk of closure in the next year.
Part of the drop in GP practice numbers in the NHS Digital data could also be driven by mergers, which could mean that some of the practice locations no longer listed in official figures remain open, but under the wing of a larger group.
Source: GP Online