Exclusive: London to get first wave of 13 polyclinics
By Steve Nowottny
NHS bosses in London have decided to push ahead with an aggressive roll-out of fully-fledged polyclinics and will approve 13 new centres in this year's first wave, Pulse can reveal.
NHS London is not due to announce details of the first polyclinics until later this month. But minutes of Healthcare for London's clinical advisory group, released under the Freedom of Information Act, show the clinicians heading up the shake-up of London's health services were briefed in July about the plans.
They were told project leaders ‘are in the process of approving the first tranche of 13 polyclinics. The second tranche will be approved next year'.
PCTs across London were required to submit proposals for polyclinics to NHS London by early July. While many refused a request from Pulse under the Freedom of Information Act for their submissions, some patchy information has emerged.
Hammersmith and Fulham PCT has received approval for two federated polyclinics – one based at Charing Cross Hospital to open next April, and one at White City to be completed in early 2010.
Tower Hamlets PCT has submitted a proposal for a federated polyclinic based in Bow, and Hillingdon PCT is looking at five geographical areas for potential polyclinic models.
An NHS London spokesperson refused to confirm how many polyclinics would be included in the first wave.
‘The figure of 13 relates to ongoing project discussions at the regular CAG meeting,' she said. ‘The notes from this meeting should not be used as confirmation of numbers.'
LMC leaders expressed alarm at the speed of the rollout. Dr David Shubhaker, secretary of Redbridge and Waltham Forest LMC, urged NHS bosses to scale back the plans and take longer to evaluate the first wave.