MP defends polyclinics
PUBLISHED: 17:09 11 June 2008 | UPDATED: 09:51 23 August 2010
AN MP has defended replacing traditional GPs surgeries with polyclinics despite a think-tank saying it would lead to a lower standard of care. Independent charitable foundation, The King s Fund, has claimed that merging GP surgeries into super surgeries
AN MP has defended replacing traditional GPs surgeries with polyclinics despite a think-tank saying it would lead to a lower standard of care.
Independent charitable foundation, The King's Fund, has claimed that merging GP surgeries into super surgeries, offering services such as blood tests and minor surgery may result in a more expensive, less accessible and less efficient service.
But North Kent MP Howard Stoate said the polyclinic model has already been rolled out in Liverpool and is working well.
A spokesperson for Dr Stoate said: "Providing the system is properly planned and co-ordinated and there is genuine engagement with patients and clinicians, polyclinics can deliver more accessible and more efficient care for patients.
"It will also help to deliver the primary care orientated, prevention driven health service that we have always wanted. Moreover, there is absolutely no reason why the polyclinic model should disrupt the relationship between patients and their GP."
But The King's Fund report, released last Thursday, claims that polyclinics may offer benefits to care in some cases but it will not be right for every area. The report predicts that successful examples of integrated care delivered in polyclinics abroad may not transfer easily to the NHS.
The report reads: "While there is a strong case for providing more support in the community to prevent hospital admission there is substantial evidence that shifting some specialist services out of hospital can prove more expensive.
"In these cases services can be less efficient and often fail to reduce demand on hospitals, so that the costs of new services supplement rather than substitute for hospital costs."
In April, Tory leader David Cameron said the polyclinic proposals would "abolish the family doctor service".
The report comes after residents and councillors were furious that a consultation into NHS services in the area, The Healthcare for London consultation, ran at the same time as the A Picture of Health consultation, into proposed closures of Accident and Emergency units in nearby Queen Mary's Hospital, Sidcup.
Campaigners fear that hospital departments such as A&E will be replaced by polyclinics and urgent care centres, in neighbouring boroughs causing added pressure on services at Darent Valley Hospital, Dartford.