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Independents' Day

Darzi defends polyclinics as GP protests gather momentum

By Ian Quinn

Health minister Lord Darzi today told the House of Commons health select committee that the alternative to polyclinics was a return to patients waiting on trolleys in A&E departments.

Lord Darzi was defending the controversial rollout of polyclinics in London which is set to see hundreds of GP practices relocated into much larger premises, also housing a range of secondary care services and pharmacies.

He said that without his plans healthcare in London would be swamped and financially ruined.

‘If current growth rates continue in the same way as the last three years, there will be an increase of inpatients of 47%, and GP use will increase by 77% in the next 10 years' he said. Without polyclinics the cost of health services in London would rocket by £1.5bn in the next decade.

‘The whole system will be paralysed. Unless changes are implemented, we will be back to where we were with people waiting on trolleys in A&E departments.'

However, elsewhere in London, more than 100 London doctors, including many GPs facing having to move surgery, were due to attend BMA headquarters this afternoon to debate the plans, amid major fears over the impact on patient care.

Lord Darzi: claims polyclinics will prevent NHS 'paralysis' Lord Darzi: claims polyclinics will prevent NHS 'paralysis'

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