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GP leaders draw up battle plans to stop surgery closures

By Gareth Iacobucci

GP leaders have drawn up battle plans to help hundreds of practices facing being moved or closed because of the Government's drive towards polyclinics.

Londonwide LMCs has compiled a 50-page document designed as a detailed practice self-assessment guide, to allow GPs in the capital to build up a defence against enforced integration into a polyclinic.

It is writing to all 1,000 practices in London, warning them that PCTs plans to latch on to any excuse to close them down to pave the way for the shift into polyclinics, which could be run by the private sector.

Pulse recently revealed that up to 400 surgeries face closure in London alone and NHS London chief executive Ruth Carnell caused uproar by slamming ‘crappy end of terrace' practices in the capital in an article in the London Evening Standard.

The letter from Londonwide LMCs reads: ‘The threats facing practices in London are enormous. It is offered to you in an attempt to ensure that your business is secure for the foreseeable future, and that you can confidently resist any attempts by PCTs to take action against your contract and put you out of business'.

The document urges GPs to fill in certificates to demonstrate their robustness in seven core areas; safety, clinical and cost effectiveness, governance, patient focus, accessible and responsive care, care environment and amenities and public health.

The checklist, based on the Healthcare Commission ‘Standards for Better Health' and informed by RCGP Quality Team Development criteria, covers all essential and additional GP services, but not enhanced services.

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