Trust outlines London polyclinic plans

The head of a London foundation trust has said he wants to be 'first at the trough' for polyclinic funding.

Chief executive of University College London Hospitals, Robert Naylor, said he was 'very keen' to develop a polyclinic at the hospital's central London campus.

He told a seminar hosted by the Civitas think tank in London last month: 'Being first at the trough means you get the biggest slice of the cake with a lot of money earmarked for this kind of development.'

Mr Naylor said the trust already had £150 million to spend on new developments and the skills to tackle major projects. There would be space available in a building planned to open next year.

The trust's turnover had doubled in the past seven years to £600 million, and he expected it to double again over the next seven years. But half of the hospital's referrals were tertiary and the trust was keen to strengthen its links with the local community.

Mr Naylor said he was worried that the final report of Lord Darzi's NHS review would be watered down: 'I am a believer in bringing GPs together so they are part of established networks. It's beyond me how a single-handed practice can provide a modern service.'

Professor David Fish, medical director of specialist hospitals at UCLH, said clinical leaders at the trust had been working with local practices on primary care in A&E, as well as the polyclinic concept.

'There may be difficulties sometimes in engaging consultants and GPs,' he said. 'But if you can have them working together in the same space, it's great for patient care. You reduce tensions between GPs and consultants, and improve patient pathways.'

colin.cooper@haymarket.com.

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