'Fantastic response' for patient-led polyclinic campaign
By Steve Nowottny
A patient-led campaign against the national rollout of polyclinics has been met with a ‘fantastic response', its founders said this week.
Helen Bate, an underwriting technician from Worcester, launched the patient-led Save Our Surgeries campaign last month, backing the traditional model of general practice.
Having battled with mental health problems for ten years, Ms Bate feared the polyclinic model would undermine the continuity of care provided by her practice.
‘A polyclinic is no good for a person with a chronic illness,' she said. ‘My GP knows me inside out. For me to lose that is unthinkable.'
Since launching her campaign she has lobbied politicians and the media via her website, Save Our Surgeries, and sought to enlist GP and patient support.
‘It has really taken off,' she said. ‘I started it primarily as a website where all the hard work had been done for people by providing template letters and links to find their MPs and PCTs. I also provided stationery templates for surgeries to print their own flyers.'
‘I've contacted over 500 surgeries nationwide and also the media and other organisations within the medical community.'
While admitting many patients are unaware of the polyclinic plan, Ms Bate warned ‘this is not the time for the public to be apathetic', and called on other patients to back her campaign.
‘The ones who do nothing will be the first to complain when we've lost the best thing about this country, our wonderful healthcare,' she said.