GP-led company is first to open supermarket surgery

The GP behind England's first supermarket-based surgery says it could be a model for other practices to meet their extended hours commitments.

Dr Mohammed Jiva, whose company PriMed Services is to offer appointments at Sainsbury's in Heaton Park, Greater Manchester, says that other PCTs could roll out similar plans in as little as four weeks.

The new surgery, Doctors in Store, will deliver a pilot scheme funded by Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale PCT. Local practices can contract the surgery to offer appointments on Monday and Thursday evenings and for four hours on Saturday.

Patients will book an appointment through their usual practice receptionists but will be seen at the Sainsbury's surgery. A system designed with the help of the PCT's IT department will allow Doctors in Store's GPs to access medical records.

Dr Jiva said he had approached Tesco and Asda, but only Sainsbury's had shown interest. He contrasted the approach with Virgin's plans to take over the management of existing practices.

'Any surgery that doesn't want to provide extended hours, but is in an area near a Sainsbury's, could, with the consent of the PCT, commission a Doctors in Store service,' he said.

GPC member Dr Chaand Nagpaul said the plan clashed with BMA policy, which opposes providing GP services in locations that sell tobacco and alcohol.

Doctors in Store will offer its first appointments on 3 March, running until September.

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