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At the heart of general practice since 1960

100 new surgeries for poor areas

The Government is to fund 100 new GP surgeries in the poorest areas in an attempt to tackle health inequalities in 'underdoctored areas'.

Speaking at the launch of the Darzi report, health secretary Alan Johnson pledged the new practices - staffed by 900 GPs, nurses and healthcare assistants - would be up and running within three years.

The practices will be rolled out in the 25% of PCTs with the poorest provision, defined as a combination of 'fewest primary care clinicians, lowest patient satisfaction with access and poorest health outcomes'.

They will all offer extended opening hours - puttin gpressue on existing surgeries in the areas to extend their own.

Dr John Wotherspoon, a GP in St Helens, Merseyside, said it would be difficult to recruit GPs to the new practices without 'some sort of golden hello'.

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