Fears for loss of GP surgeries to new polyclinics

THE opening of Haringey s first polyclinic at Hornsey hospital could spell the end of GP practices in the borough, councillors have warned

Charlotte Newton

THE opening of Haringey's first polyclinic at Hornsey hospital could spell the end of GP practices in the borough, councillors have warned.

At a council meeting on Monday night, Stroud Green councillor Richard Wilson said: "Over the past few months there has been a public outcry brewing over the future of GP practices. The opening of Hornsey Hospital could resort in big changes to the provision of NHS services in Haringey, including an end to GP practices."

Crouch End councillor Dave Winskill said: "There is much to be welcomed in the proposals for the new super health centre in Park Road Hornsey - diagnostics, minor surgery, specialist services and dementia care will immeasurably improve the quality of life for a great number of people.

"However, everyone should note that Park Road is effectively the pilot for five other Super Clinics to serve the borough."

"One of the key elements - and certainly the most controversial - of the Park Road mix is the determination of the PCT to transfer as many local GP surgeries as possible to the site. This model will be repeated in the centres that follow in other parts of the Borough and indeed across London."

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Resident Mario Petrou, 46, of St Anne's Road, said: "It's outrageous that the PCT can carry out the most important consultation on public services and not spell out the changes that most GP practices and chemists will close. It's time to hold the PCT to account."

Haringey Teaching PCT deputy chief executive Helen Brown said: "We have not drawn any detailed plans yet setting out which GP practices this will affect but will work on local plans this year. This will be subject to further consultation with GPs, healthcare professionals, local residents and our health and social care partners. We will present this as part of the updated primary care strategy to the TPCT board this May.

"This is a 10-year strategy and although we have proposed to reduce the current number of GP practices, many will remain and patients will still be able to see their own GPs. This is the case even if their practice moves to Hornsey hospital.

"We welcome feedback from local residents and clinicians and will continue to discuss with you the delivery of future services."

Haringey's first polyclinic is set to open at Hornsey Central, in Park Road, in June next year.

It will provide a range of new services not currently available in the west of the borough. These include community nursing and therapy services (physiotherapy, foot health, dietetics), primary mental health care services, blood tests and CT scans.