London gets first five polyclinics10th September 2008
London will see its first five polyclinics up and running by next spring.
The new clinics will be in the Alexandra Avenue centre in south Harrow; Heart of Hounslow centre; Gracefield Gardens centre, Lambeth; and in centres in Redbridge and Waltham Forest. They will cater for patients who live in some of the more deprived areas of the capital.
Over the next five years, polyclinics will be opened in all of London’s 31 primary care trust areas and will bring GP services together with social care and community healthcare in one centre offering outpatient clinics, pharmacy and health information as well as onsite diagnostic facilities such as blood tests, CT scans and minor surgical procedures.
NHS London chief executive Ruth Carnall said: "Polyclinics are a London solution to a London problem. They will tackle two of the biggest problems in the capital, namely patients finding it difficult to get a GP appointment and the result which is people turning up at A&E when they should be seeing their family doctor."
The structures, proposed by health minister Lord Darzi in his review of health services in London, could also see networks of GP practices set up in the polyclinics.
Dr Tony Stanton, from London wide Local Medical Committees, acknowledged that better surgery premises and more diagnostic services in the community were needed.
But Dr Stanton said: "We don't need to do this in such a way that it risks destabilising good general practices or indeed risks sucking services out of hospitals."
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Title: London gets first five polyclinics
Author: Mark Nicholls
Article Id: 8260
Date Added: 10th Sep 2008