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Asda to host GP surgeries at two stores

Supermarket giant Asda has confirmed it is to host extended hours GP surgeries at two of its stores – just days after Sainsbury's became the first UK supermarket to launch such a scheme.

GPs will work from consulting rooms in Asda stores in Hounslow, west London and in Boston, Lincolnshire on selected evenings and Saturday mornings.

An Asda spokesman told Pulse: ‘It will be up and running later this year, but we don't know exactly when. We've been discussing this privately for about a year.'

He said the supermarket chain intended to discuss the plan with GPs in both towns to see which practices would be keen to be involved.

It comes as Sainsbury's announced that GPs from three different practices will next month start renting space from its store in Heaton Park, near Prestwich, Lancashire.

The in-store GPs will run appointments between 1830 and 2130 on Mondays and Thursdays, as well as from 1100 to 1500 on Saturdays.

Dr Mohammed Jiva, who will run the service through his organisation PriMed Services, said: "If the demand is there, there is the potential to roll this out at stores over a wider area."

And PCT and SHA bosses backed the scheme, predicting it ‘could potentially be rolled out to other areas.'

Both supermarkets will be renting to rather than running the GP practices, but the moves have inevitably raised fears over the increasing involvement of the private sector in general practice.

GPC negotiator Dr Peter Holden said that while he had no problem with GPs renting space in a supermarket, it would be a different matter if a big multi-national organisation launched an operation as a ‘loss-leader.'

‘That would be unfair competition, because we can't loss-lead,' he said.

Asda Boston

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