Labour fails on polyclinic brand

A Labour MP has compared government attempts to rebrand polyclinics to the Conservatives' experience with the poll tax.

In a parliamentary debate last week, Jim Dowd, MP for Lewisham West, London, compared references to GP-led health centres to the Thatcher government's references to the 'community charge'.

'It lost the battle, because the rest of the world called it a poll tax,' he said. 'The government is in a similar position over GP-led health centres. The whole world out there believes them to be polyclinics.'

In a separate debate, health minister Ben Bradshaw dismissed Conservative claims that the current system for providing out-of-hours care was 'fragmented and inconsistent', and said that the government would not consider forcing GPs to take back 24-hour responsibility.

'People behave and talk as if there was some golden age in which there was a wonderful out-of-hours service, but it did not exist,' he said.

'The Conservative idea of going back to the bad old days of forcing all GPs to provide out-of-hours services would be an absolute disaster.'

Comment below and tell us what you think

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins


Already registered?

Sign in

Follow Us: