Patients oppose polyclinic plans

A patients' group has condemned the government's policy on polyclinics.

Health minister Lord Ara Darzi announced in his interim review of the NHS last October that there would be 150 new polyclinics across England.

However, Joyce Robins, co-director of Patient Concern, said: 'As usual, no one has asked patients. The most valuable aspect of the GP service is continuity of care.'

The main opposition parties joined patients in condemning polyclinics.

Norman Lamb, Liberal Democrat health spokesman, said: 'Polyclinics might be a solution for some communities, but particularly in rural areas access to a doctor could become a nightmare.'

Shadow health secretary Andrew Lansley said: 'You can not improve our family doctor service by corralling all GPs into centralised polyclinics.'

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