PATIENT champion Russ McLean has called for more investment in primary care after doctors warned of a ‘catastrophic meltdown’ because of changes to the way NHS money is allocated.

As reported in the Lancashire Telegraph last week, the Royal College of General Practitioners said it has been inundated with calls from surgeries struggling to pay their bills, since changes to funding were introduced in April.

It claimed 98 GP practices across the UK are at risk of imminent closure and called on the Government for an emergency £15million bailout.

Mr McLean, chair of the Pennine Lancashire Patient Voices Group, said: “This is happening locally on our doorstep, where a surgery in Slaidburn was under threat of closure. This would have made it very difficult for those patients, who live in a rural setting, to access GP services.

“It’s a travesty and this situation is being repeated across the country.

“The government needs to realise that our wonderful GPs are the first point of contact for patients and almost certainly carry the heaviest workload.

“It never ceases to amaze me, therefore, why the government deems it necessary to cut funding to GP services which are on the front line of healthcare locally and nationally.

“We need more investment in GPs and their surgeries and we need it now.”