Doctors welcome King's Fund report criticising polyclinics

Doctors have welcomed a King's Fund report which found that polyclinics would mean worse access and higher costs.

Speaking at a BMA conference this week, Dr Jonathan Fielden, chairman of the BMA's consultants' committee, said: ‘The centrally enforced polyclinic plan holds no water, has no benefit and no financial gain.'

He called on the government the ‘dump' the plan and work with the profession. ‘Together we will deliver the changes across the capital and the country our patients need.'

Opposition politicians, meanwhile, said that the report showed it was time to ditch the ‘one-size-fits-all' approach.

Shadow Conservative health secretary Andrew Lansley said the government should ‘stop pushing forward with a scheme which is likely to lead to the closures of hundreds of GP surgeries and completely destroy the relationship between local people and their family doctor'.

But Nigel Edwards, policy director at the NHS Confederation, said that the report provided a ‘balanced review of the risks and opportunities'.

He called for the government to focus less on infrastructure and more on services.

jonn.elledge@haymarket.com

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