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Survey finds majority not in favour of polyclinics

PUBLISHED: 13:21 22 May 2008 | UPDATED: 15:06 07 September 2010

FIGURES published this week reveal overwhelming public opposition to health minister Lord Darzi s plans to create five polyclinics in Camden. These would be large buildings where GPs, opticians, dentists, and hearing aid services are brought together unde

FIGURES published this week reveal overwhelming public opposition to health minister Lord Darzi's plans to create five polyclinics in Camden.

These would be large buildings where GPs, opticians, dentists, and hearing aid services are brought together under one roof. Camden Primary Care Trust is acting on statistics claiming more than half of respondents are in favour of the plans.

But a survey by Camden Local Medical Committee shows 90 per cent of the public oppose having their GP moved to a larger polyclinic.

Dr Stephen Amiel, the chairman of Camden LMC, said: "The response to our patient survey has exceeded expectations and the results tell a very different story to those published by NHS London.

"Our concern is primarily for our patients - how can the implementation of a polyclinic model be justified when only one in 10 of our patients is in favour of these changes?

"I believe the funding would be much better spent on developing existing surgeries, allowing them to expand their good range of current services and to network naturally, without coercion."

Last month the Healthcare for London consultation set out a blueprint for a major overhaul of the capital's healthcare system, which could include polyclinics being set up at the Royal Free Hospital and University College London Hospital.

Critics argue the changes would make GPs less accessible to the most vulnerable patients and would pave the way for the privatisation of the NHS.


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