Polyclinic sparks competition for practices' patients

London's first polyclinic will mean local practices have to fight to hang on to their patients, the local PCT professional executive committee (PEC) chairman has admitted.

Lord Darzi officially opened the new Loxford Polyclinic - a converted pub in Ilford, east London - last week. It will act as a ‘hub’, providing services to four nearby ‘spoke’ practices, in a combined 'polysystem' serving 50,000 patients.

The new centre will house two existing practices, with a combined list of 12,000. But the practices - Henley Road and John Telford Clinic – hope to increase this to 20,000 by the end of the third year.

Dr Richard Price, chairman of Redbridge PCT’s PEC said it was a ‘fact’ that other practices could lose patients to the new polyclinic.

‘If you're a patient of a doctor based in a terraced house, where there isn't a nurse, you may well think, 'I'm going to register here.' It's a fact you can't get away from. We have to be transparent about mitigating it.’

He added that the PCT wanted to ‘cooperate on ways of driving up the quality of the spokes as well as hub’.
The polyclinic includes 59 consulting rooms, as well as three minor surgery rooms. It will provide a range of services including pharmacy, dentistry, X-rays and diagnostics.

The new centre will open to the public in June.


  • Read next week’s issue of GP dated 8 May for the full version of this story.

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