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Polyclinics not needed

2nd March 2009

A new study has suggested that a new network of polyclinics would offer few extra services than an average-sized GP.

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Led by a Kent-based GP, the study focussed on 384 practices and found little difference between the range of extra services offered by standard surgeries and polyclinics.

NHS trusts across England have been told to establish at least one polyclinic to provide extra care such as diabetes clinics and minor surgery, with a whole network being formed in London, in a bid to move more care out of hospitals and into the community.

However, Dr Hendrik Beerstecher, who carried out the study, said: "I am not sure why the government is pushing ahead with polyclinics. As the study shows, there is no evidence that they provide more services so why are we having them set up all across the country?"

He looked at the range of extra services, beyond the average package of GP care, being provided by a range of different-sized practices up to ones serving a population of more than 30,000.

While small surgeries with fewer than 6,300 patients provided less extra services, those above that often had 10 extra services.

Dr Richard Vautrey, the deputy chairman of the BMA's GPs committee, said: "This proves what we have been saying all along - that we should not be rushing headlong into setting polyclinics up. GPs have always been innovative. You do not need a big surgery for this to happen."

The Department of Health say polyclinics will provide a valuable extra service.

 

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Comments

Allan Stewart

Thursday 5th March 2009 @ 12:54

We in the primary care sector are all aware that there is no requirement for polyclinics but there is no point in wasting time trying to prove this to a government which has stopped listening. We will just have to make sure that our patients wish to stay with us and wait for the polyclinics to go into liquidation. Unfortunately it will mean yet another large financial loss to the NHS but it can only be hoped that the government (of which ever colour) following this one will have learned the lesson and will listen to those who know what the patients really want.

Allan Stewart
Wirral


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Article Information

Title: Polyclinics not needed
Author: Mark Nicholls
Article Id: 10410
Date Added: 2nd Mar 2009

Sources

BBC News

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