Leading GPs have confirmed that this is the second highest amount of practices to be affected since 228 in 2012.
MORE than 200 GP practices closed down or merged last year, NHS data reveals.
It shows that while just eight practices opened, 202 shut or joined a partnership.
GP leaders say it is the second highest number in the past decade – and up a quarter since last year when 147 surgeries were affected.
They warn many medics are at “breaking point”, with a critical shortages making it harder than ever for sick Brits to see a GP.
Officials said it is unclear how many patients lost out as a result of the widespread closures and mergers.
But a Pulse magazine investigation earlier this year found 265,000 Brits were forced to sign up to a new GP or travel to a different practice in 2016.
Joyce Robins, from Patient Concern, warned OAPs will be particularly badly hit.
She said: “This is terrible news for older patients. Merging practices and closing down local GPs may seem like a good idea to NHS bosses, but it is not in the best interest of elderly people.