Conservatives: Patients to travel ‘three times further’ to polyclinics

The distance patients will have to travel to see their GP will treble under Labour, say the Conservatives.

Andrew Lansley
Andrew Lansley

According to figures in NHS London's polyclinic consultation, the average distance to see a GP will rise from half a mile to 1.5 miles in the capital.

Conservatives say if the same pattern was replicated across the country, the average family doctor could be nearly four miles away in rural areas like the South West and the East of England.

Shadow Conservative health secretary Andrew Lansley said: ‘Labour's insistence on introducing polyclinics will make it much more difficult for society's most needy such as the elderly and young families to see their local doctor.'

The comments come soon after the King's Fund released a report saying that a major centralisation of GP services into polyclinics would make it more difficult for patients to visit their GP.

A DoH spokesman said in response: ‘We are seeking to create easy-to-access GP-run health centres in addition to existing provision. They will extend primary care services not restrict them and families will be able to make use of them while remaining registered with an existing GP.'

tom.ireland@haymarket.com

Conservatives website

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