Originally, the 38 PCTs with the worst provision of GPs in England were earmarked for a polyclinic each and up to three new GP surgeries.
The revised DoH position contradicts health minister Ben Bradshaw who suggested PCTs could spend the money on extended hours if they did not require a new health centre (GP, 30 November 2007).
Dr Brian Balmer, chief executive officer of Essex LMC, said PCTs ‘could not say no' to the polyclinic in Harlow, west Essex. Consultation on the plans had been shelved because of the need to develop them ‘lightning fast', he said.
A spokesman for West Essex PCT said: ‘The way the NHS is organised and managed means that there are frameworks that are set nationally. We are accessing options for locations.'
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