60 second interview with...Dr Anouska Hari
Dr Hari is vice-chair of Westminster LMC in London has been involved in the response to Lord Darzi’s polyclinic proposals. She practises as a sessional GP in Kensington and Chelsea and has also appeared on a number of TV documentaries.
Dr Hari is vice-chair of Westminster LMC in London has been involved in the response to Lord Darzi's polyclinic proposals. She practises as a sessional GP in Kensington and Chelsea and has also appeared on a number of TV documentaries.
Why should GPs get involved with their LMC?
Because it's our voice. It's our way of being heard, being involved, and helping to change general practice.
What does your role at Westminster LMC involve?
I attend meetings on anything to do with Westminster general practices. Really it's about liaising with Government bodies and filtering things down locally.
How do GPs in London feel about the Healthcare for London review?
Probably a mixture of interest and scepticism, with such radical changes to general practice.
What do you make of the polyclinic model?
The essence of a polyclinic, the one-stop shop, is a great idea, where you can have a consultation and all your investigations done in one place.
What concerns me is that you're going to have to close down smaller practices to be able to accommodate this.
What impact will the proposals have on patients?
The elderly who can just about get to their local doctor are going to have to go a lot further. We're trying to move away from the postcode lottery, which has got such a bad press.
But I'm concerned we might be alienating various groups.
What benefits will they bring?
In terms of patient safety, if you can get a chest X-ray done within a day and the results the next day, that also helps your management. And possibly we may refer less into hospital – I don't know. I don't think they've done enough research.
Are patients aware of the polyclinic plans?
No, I don't think they are. I don't think that proper consultation has been done with patients. GPs are very aware, but I have not had one patient ask me about polyclinics.
What are PCTs planning in your local area?
My understanding is there is going to be a polyclinic within St Charles Hospital in Ladbroke Grove.
Should GPs be offering extended opening hours?
I do think there should be some extended opening, and it should be for those patients who can't make it during the day.
What's the hardest thing about working as a GP in London?
If you're outside of London there's a stable population, you know your patients, there's more continuity and you can form more of a rapport – the converse is true for London.Dr Anouska Hari