Our contract with patients is to look after them 24hrs a day 7 days a week and if we undertake that responsibility it also involves the need to be able to visit at home if required. Obviously if the patient is far away it takes us out of the surgery when we could be seeing other patients and with modern traffic conditions means we really have to keep within a fairly tight geographical area.
When arranging services for patients such as physiotherapy, district nursing, blood tests, mental health and counselling, pharmacy deliveries and so on, it becomes very complex when dealing with other areas. Services are often arranged very differently elsewhere and we can't access contact details or referral pathways. We already deal with patients living in 3 different boroughs and that's bad enough! We try and do the best we can for our patients, so this means doing it within the area we know with services we can access.
We do have a slightly larger 'outer area' where we can keep existing patients who happen to move just a street or two away but further than that, we have to say a sad 'farewell'.
It is always a great pity to lose our patients with whom we have often built up a long-term relationship. We will give you time to make suitable arrangements in your new area and can offer assistance if needed. We hope you will understand that if we make exceptions we'll have to do it for all and it will become impossible for us to manage.