A Country Practice

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In the Lake District village of Coniston, the small GP practice that treats the rural community is losing a third of its core funding and faces closure. The patients and doctors there say it's an essential service for both locals and the millions of tourists that visit the area each year.

If it has to close down, it will effectively merge with a surgery in the next town. But locals say that poor public transport and the natural barriers of lakes and fells would make it a false economy - leading to more ambulance call outs and more hospital admissions. But NHS England - the body that commissions GP services - argues patients will get better care from larger practices.

Caz Graham joins the doctors at work to discover the realities of running a rural practice in a climate of NHS cuts and talks to campaigners as they try to save their surgery. She also hears from NHS England about whether small rural practices like this are practical and sustainable in the long term.

Producer/Presenter: Caz Graham.