The family of a 71-year-old man with dementia claimed he felt ‘abandoned’ by his lifelong GP after he was told he had to find a new service.
Peter Taylor, from Rusholme, has been a patient of the Alexandra Practice in Whalley Range for 70 years but his family say they were told in February that he would now need to leave the service due to boundary controls.
Despite not having moved address, his family claim they were told he now lived too far from the service and would have to find a new GP Practice to join.
“He’s been with the same GP surgery since he was born,” Peter’s daughter Fiona McCarthy told the Manchester Evening News .
“They moved their premises over 30 years ago and said my dad could stay with them as he had been there for so long and has complex health issues.
“Now they have told us out of the blue that he’s no longer in their area despite the fact he hasn’t moved.”
Peter’s family contacted the Practice asking them to reconsider and to make an exception for her father as they felt it was in his ‘best interests’ to remain there due to his trusted relationship with staff.
“He feels abandoned,” Fiona explained.
“It’s got to the point where he’s become paranoid that he’s done something to upset the doctor or that we’re lying to him about why he can’t go there, which isn’t the case at all.
“In a time when he’s had to stay home for over a year due to Covid and we keep being told to look after people’s mental health, this is shocking and has had such a negative impact on him.”
In a response to the request, the family claimed they were told that Peter would still need to move to a new GP practice closer to his home due to a ‘contractual obligation’ to review the service’s boundary areas.
According to NHS England, GP practices can register patients who live outside their practice boundary areas however it is voluntary and at their discretion.
Fiona added: “I fully understand they have to tighten the borders in terms of patients but when you’ve been there for 70 years and have built up a strong trust, they’re not the people you perhaps should be taking off your books.
“What about the students who only sign up for a year and then move away? It just doesn’t feel like the right call, it’s not on and it’s not fair.
“We think there are other people who are out of the boundary area and still at the practice – it just feels to us like they can’t be bothered with him anymore.”
Peter has now moved to a new GP service but Fiona said she is concerned that the boundary changes could have an impact on other patients in a similar position to her father.
“I’m just glad he’s got someone fighting for him,” Fiona said.
“We’ve moved him to my sister’s GP now who has been very reassuring but others might not have the same support as he does.”
The practice in Whalley Range was contacted by the Manchester Evening News with regards to the claims.
“We are unable to comment specifically on the individual case due to patient confidentiality issues,” a spokesperson for The Alexandra Practice said.
“We would highlight that the practice is known for giving caring, person centered care to all of our patients.
“We are only able to provide this high level of care to patients within our Practice boundaries and so patients outside of our area are asked to register with a GP closer to their home.”