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At the heart of general practice since 1960

Family Doctor Association backs Pulse campaign

By Steve Nowottny

The Family Doctor Association has thrown its weight behind Pulse's Save Our Surgeries campaign as opposition builds to the polyclinic rollout.

More than 200 GPs have now signed up to the campaign via the Pulse website, with more than 180 requesting that letters be sent to their local MP.

Some practices have also begun enlisting the support of hundreds of their own patients using the patient petition on Pulse's website.

The FDA – which represents more than 1,200 GP practices – said in a statement that, like the Save Our Surgeries campaign, it was not opposed to the collocation of services per se. But it added: ‘We are opposed to those things which we consider to be of detriment to patients and GPs. Included in this group are coercion of practices, unnecessary merger of practices, n uneven playing field and preferred provider status for large commercial organisations.'

Meanwhile Worcestershire LMC became the latest to back the Pulse campaign after presenting a 4,000-signature petition against the plans to Downing Street.

Dr Simon Parkinson, secretary of Worcestershire LMC, said: ‘We don't want to undermine traditional practice. There are some values that we want to maintain. That's not to say that we're against reviews, reform or modernisation, but the core values we think are sacrosanct.'

Londonwide LMCs, which has also been at the forefront of opposition to plans for merged polyclinics in the capital, has also backed Pulse's campaign.

GPs line up behind Pulse's campaign

Dr Paul Rankin, Woking, Surrey
‘I support this campaign completely. This Government is hellbent on destroying primary care. It is forcibly introducing unpiloted models and imposing a London solution on the broader population.'

Dr Karen Hutchinson, Seghill, Northumberland
‘If patients are to have choice, let them decide. Let us poll them on the plans before spending millions on a service they don't want at the expense of a service they do want.'

Dr Paul Kuzmin, Woking, Surrey
‘This will herd together an anonymous bunch of employed doctors with poor continuity of care and absolutely no advantage to the patient.'

Pulse is demanding that:
• The Government gives an undertaking polyclinics will not be imposed on any local community, as this could seriously threaten continuity of care.
• Local surgeries must not be forced to close or merge to make way for polyclinics or privately run health centres. This would destabilise general practice and force patients to travel further.
• GPs and patients must be fully consulted at a local level before significant changes are made to general practice.

We need your help
Go to pulsetoday.co.uk/SOS to:
• sign our petition
• get a letter sent to your MP
• download campaign materials including a patient petition
• help us build our case by surveying patients on their views
Or email your support to pulse@cmpmedica.com

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