London mayor challenges polyclinic plan

London mayor Ken Livingstone has challenged the NHS to guarantee that local hospitals will not be closed as a result of health minister Lord Ara Darzi’s plan for the capital.

Ken Livingstone
Ken Livingstone

Under proposals for a radical overhaul of healthcare in London, which the government could roll out across the UK, GPs will be encouraged to move into NHS-owned polyclinics, housing up to 10 practices.

In his response to the plan, Mr Livingstone has called on the NHS to ensure that any proposed changes to existing hospital services do not threaten either the quality or accessibility of healthcare for Londoners.

The mayor also wants backing for the principle that new better quality services should be up and running before any services they replace are withdrawn.

Mr Livingstone said: ‘The principle of delivering more integrated services closer to Londoners’ homes, for example by enabling blood tests or x-rays to be carried out at larger GP practices, is important, but I will be concerned if this has a negative impact on the provision of high quality, accessible hospital services.’

neil.durham@haymarket.com

Health Inequalities Strategy

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