600 practices outside London threatened by polyclinic rollout
By Steve Nowottny
More than 600 GP practices across the country are under direct threat from the national rollout of polyclinics, according to new figures published today.
Procurement documents on 58 PCT websites list 608 practices which will be located in close proximity to the planned wave of GP-led health centres.
While most of the practices under threat are unlikely to close, they will face direct competition for patients as the new health centres seek to build up lists. Each polyclinic is required by the Department of Health to register patients as well as providing a walk-in service.
The new figures come from Memorandum of Information documents published by 58 of the 121 PCTs outside London. Conservative party researchers, who uncovered the data, estimate that around 1,200 surgeries will be under threat when all PCTs have published their plans.
Last month Pulse revealed that in London, where polyclinic plans are more advanced, up to 400 GP surgeries face closure.
Shadow Health Secretary Andrew Lansley called for polyclinic plans to be halted.
‘The Government needs to explain why these GP surgeries are being named if it's not because polyclinics pose a threat to local doctors,' he said.
‘It adds to the huge weight of evidence building up that polyclinics are not the additional services that Gordon Brown has claimed.'