GP-led collaborative proves 'polyclinics not needed'

Integrated care is possible without NHS reform or expensive new facilities, according to a pioneering GP-led collaborative.

Epsom Downs Integrated Care Services (EDICS) in Surrey includes over 20 surgeries and 100 GPs.

Three years ago it set out to prove that the outcomes health minister Lord Ara Darzi is now seeking could be achieved without structural reform or costly extra centres.

Results include 20 per cent more activity by providing services in the community and 20 per cent savings by improving efficiency.

A total of 20 new community clinics have been set up by EDICS to meet the needs of local patients. They are run in existing surgeries, community centres and hospital facilities.

EDICS medical director Dr Anne Hollings said: ‘Our three years of experience has proved that Lord Darzi's plans for integrated care are possible without needing more NHS reform or expensive new facilities unless existing ones are already used to their full potential.'

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