Cookie policy notice

By continuing to use this site you agree to our cookies policy below:
Since 26 May 2011, the law now states that cookies on websites can ony be used with your specific consent. Cookies allow us to ensure that you enjoy the best browsing experience.

This site is intended for health professionals only

At the heart of general practice since 1960

How is my practice not a polyclinic?

I am confused as to what the Government thinks polyclinics actually are.

Are they a new concept of primary care centre incorporating non-primary care services such as diagnostics and secondary care and community services?

Or are they a political initiative designed to ease private providers into the profitable areas of primary care?

Lincolnshire Teaching PCT has orders from above to commission one polyclinic. The two sites proposed are both in Lincoln itself, the largest city in the county and home to a largish district general hospital.

Indeed, one mooted site is on Monk's Road, an area reached by walking 150 yards downhill from the hospital with two GP surgeries, one PCT-run.

Surely a polyclinic is an opportunity to bring care to those who are geographically disadvantaged?

I work on the east coast in Mablethorpe. We serve a population of 14,000. The prevalence of chronic disease is three times the national average. Our population is one of the oldest, most deprived in the county - and among the furthest from secondary care.

Our patients mostly do not drive and public transport is poor (there is no rail network). Our patients are thus hugely disadvantaged in their access to healthcare.

Many years ago, we planned for a change in the way we provided services, with a purpose-designed new build. Our philosophy was to provide care in the community and bring other services to Mablethorpe.

In January 2007 our practice moved into the new building - the largest in Lincolnshire.

Three-fifths of the building's rent is covered by our practice and two-fifths by the PCT. So far, we have brought in visiting consultants in paediatrics, community paediatrics, psychiatry, ENT and gynaecology. We have physiotherapy, midwifery, podiatry, community mental health and resident district nursing and health visitors.

We are in negotiations to bring X-ray and ultrasound to the practice two days a week and, if successful, would next aim to bring orthopaedics outpatients to the building. We open Saturday mornings and two evenings a week.

How is our practice not a polyclinic? How does it not fit with the Government's own philosophy?

We are reaching the limit of what we can do for our patients and need help from higher up. Why can the PCT not spend a fraction of the money needed for a new polyclinic in an area already well served health-wise on helping us to develop our vision?

Dr James Howarth, Mablethorpe, Lincolnshire

Are they a new concept of primary care centre incorporating non-primary care services such as diagnostics and secondary care and community services?

Or are they a political initiative designed to ease private providers into the profitable areas of primary care?

Lincolnshire Teaching PCT has orders from above to commission one polyclinic. The two sites proposed are both in Lincoln itself, the largest city in the county and home to a largish district general hospital.

Indeed, one mooted site is on Monk's Road, an area reached by walking 150 yards downhill from the hospital with two GP surgeries, one PCT-run.

Surely a polyclinic is an opportunity to bring care to those who are geographically disadvantaged?

I work on the east coast in Mablethorpe. We serve a population of 14,000. The prevalence of chronic disease is three times the national average. Our population is one of the oldest, most deprived in the county - and among the furthest from secondary care.

Our patients mostly do not drive and public transport is poor (there is no rail network). Our patients are thus hugely disadvantaged in their access to healthcare.

Many years ago, we planned for a change in the way we provided services, with a purpose-designed new build. Our philosophy was to provide care in the community and bring other services to Mablethorpe.

In January 2007 our practice moved into the new building - the largest in Lincolnshire.

Three-fifths of the building's rent is covered by our practice and two-fifths by the PCT. So far, we have brought in visiting consultants in paediatrics, community paediatrics, psychiatry, ENT and gynaecology. We have physiotherapy, midwifery, podiatry, community mental health and resident district nursing and health visitors.

We are in negotiations to bring X-ray and ultrasound to the practice two days a week and, if successful, would next aim to bring orthopaedics outpatients to the building. We open Saturday mornings and two evenings a week.

How is our practice not a polyclinic? How does it not fit with the Government's own philosophy?

We are reaching the limit of what we can do for our patients and need help from higher up. Why can the PCT not spend a fraction of the money needed for a new polyclinic in an area already well served health-wise on helping us to develop our vision?

Dr James Howarth, Mablethorpe, Lincolnshire

Rate this article 

Click to rate

  • 1 star out of 5
  • 2 stars out of 5
  • 3 stars out of 5
  • 4 stars out of 5
  • 5 stars out of 5

0 out of 5 stars

Have your say