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GPs stymied by bureaucracy

GPs have denounced Department of Health claims they are responsible for blocking premises developments.

A department spokesman made the claim in the wake of a BMA survey that identified 60 per cent of premises were unfit for current needs (Pulse, 18 May). He added that this was based on 'anecdotal' evidence from the NHS.

But GPs said there were a catalogue of cases where they wanted to work with other NHS and social care staff but were stymied by bureaucracy and a lack of funding.

Dr Peter Holden, GPC negotiator, said the 'evidence' was likely to be from PCT managers who 'can't get singlehanders to do what they want'.

He said: 'Many GPs would love to move into bigger premises but can only do so if the figures add up.'

Dr Ian Hume, a GP in Diss, Suffolk, said he 'fell off his chair' after reading the department's claim. He has been trying for four years to double his practice size in order to group social, community and support services on the same site.

But his PCT cannot now afford the plans ­ despite having previously given approval ­ and NHS LIFT has 'soaked up' resources for other schemes.

He said: 'We are trying to integrate and talk about a one-stop shop. Our experience goes against what the department is saying.'

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