Polyclinics backed by managers17th April 2008
Polyclinics have received the backing of NHS managers.
Plans for enlarged GP surgeries housing doctors alongside other health staff across England and offering a range of services have been criticised by doctors and patients.
But the NHS Confederation, which represents health managers, say polyclinics have the potential to improve care and want to see a more balanced debate over the proposals.
The government wants to see 150 polyclinics set up with many offering services traditionally carried out in hospitals, such as minor surgery and diagnostic tests, to free up hospitals to focus on more complicated care.
A report from the NHS Confederation said the clinics were not about saving money, but improving the quality of care and patient experience. It also rejected suggestions from doctors that it would undermine continuity of care by pointing out patients could still be regularly seen by one GP at a polyclinic.
Nigel Edwards, director of policy at the NHS Confederation, said: â€śWhile it may sound like the polyclinic system will not resemble the service currently provided by family doctors, in reality it should build on what is best in general practice.â€?
Dr Laurence Buckman, chairman of the British Medical Associationâ€™s GPs committee, who is a critic of the policy, said the BMA saw the clinics as a way of getting the private sector more involved in the NHS.
However, the Department of Health welcomed the support of NHS managers and said polyclinics would â€śenhance a patientâ€™s ability to choose the service that best suits their needs.â€?
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Thursday 24th April 2008 @ 16:45
Isn't strange that the only people who are backing polyclinics are the ones who know least about what actually happens in general practice?
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