PCTs plan networks of up to 7 polyclinics

PCTs outside of England’s major cities are pushing ahead with plans involving networks of up to seven polyclinics.

Towns and rural counties are building more than the one polyclinic asked of them by the DoH already.

The only way to meet the DoH's policies are to group services together in larger buildings, said one PCT spokeswoman. 

Areas like Bolton and Cheshire have started to develop similar plans to England's largest cities, involving networks of polyclinics and large health centres.

Bolton PCT has started work on 7 new polyclinics to house GPs and provide extra services for patients. 

Cheshire PCT is developing 4 polyclinics that will each incorporate at least 3 local practices.

The DoH's drive to move hospital services into the community and improve access means PCTs are building larger health centres to make it cost effective. 

A spokeswoman for Bolton PCT said, ‘When you move services from the hospital to the community, you have to group things together in this way for it to be cost-effective.'

A spokeswoman for Chester PCT said access to a broader range of services would require buildings with a ‘larger footprint'. The PCT is assessing whether a consultation is necessary. 

Hull PCT is consulting on plans to open 4 polyclinics and up to 5 new APMS GP surgeries. 

tom.ireland@haymarket.com

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