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Alan Johnson lets the polyclinics cat out of the bag

Health secretary Alan Johnson has given a more candid than usual insight into the thinking behind the Government’s polyclinic rollout. The Department of Health has previously gone out of its way to accuse GPs and the BMA of scaremongering over their fears that the nationwide GP led health centre imposition will threaten existing surgeries.

Health secretary Alan Johnson has given a more candid than usual insight into the thinking behind the Government's polyclinic rollout. The Department of Health has previously gone out of its way to accuse GPs and the BMA of scaremongering over their fears that the nationwide GP led health centre imposition will threaten existing surgeries.

It has also tried hard to create the impression that PCTs somehow have some say in the entire process.

So how did Mr Johnson react when the latest PCT to question the policy had the temerity to express its view that the plan would wreck its own primary care strategy?

Strangely enough, rather than bow to the spirit of local flexibility, he told MPs that a stinging letter was on its way, attacking the ‘disgraceful' attitude of North East Lincolnshire Care Trust.

He went on to attack the ‘numerous PCTs' who have rebelled against the plans-something of a ministerial gaff this as it's the first time the Government has admitted anything of the sort.

Again his attitude was libertarian on the subject though. The PCTs were, he said, trying to duck the issue by blaming the Government and were quite simply ‘wrong' .

So local NHS chiefs join 1.2 million plus patients, the BMA, the RCGP, the Conservatives, The Liberal Democrats, The Family Doctors association and the vast majority of GPs in being wrong.

The Department of Health, of course, knows best.

Red faced: Johnson has let Government policy out of the bag Red faced: Johnson has let Government policy out of the bag

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