In his report, A Framework For Action, published yesterday, junior health minister and surgeon Professor Sir Ara Darzi said polyclinics, combining GP services and non acute surgery currently provided by hospitals, are the way forward in tackling huge inequalities in healthcare in London.
The first polyclinics will be in place within two years if a widespread consultation backs the scheme, effectively calling time on GP-owned clinics in most areas.
Polyclinics could be owned by either the NHS or independent sector and run by entrepreneurial GPs or foundation trusts.
Although there are ‘pockets of excellence’ in general practice in London, he said, variations in standards of care were ‘shocking’
He said: ‘In no way are we forcing them to come into a polyclinic.
‘General practice could be considered a private enterprise anyway, because a lot of GPs are private owners of practises already.
‘Where polyclinics already exist the GPs find it excellent and not all practices would go into polyclinics.’
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