GPs feel pressure as London pushes ahead with polyclinics

Chief executives of London's 31 PCTs formally agreed to push forward with plans for polyclinics last week.

By 2018, NHS London wants a network of up to 150 polyclinics to be in place across the capital.

GPs in Redbridge and Waltham Forest PCT are already feeling the pressure.

Dr David Shubhaker, secretary of the local LMC, said all the area's GPs were called into a meeting last week to decide which one of five planned polyclinics they wished to join.

‘They have already divided the areas and kind of planned out where they'd look to put a polyclinic. It was up to the GPs to discuss where polyclinics should be,' he added.

The first of the five polyclinics will open in south Ilford in February, with each centre serving 15,000 to 20,000 patients.

GPC chairman Dr Laurence Buckman said that even in apparently cut-and-dry scenarios, GPs can say no.

‘Every GP should ask themselves: ‘In these proposed plans will my patients get a better service?' And if the answer is ‘not really', then don't do it,' he said.

rachel.liddle@haymarket.com

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