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I will not benefit from running a GP-led health centre

Your front page story (‘Darzi centre funding dwarfs GMS cash') and editorial do not provide a fair picture of my position – or that of local GPs – in relation to the Bridlington GP-led ‘Darzi' centre.

The Bridlington centre's contract was won by a consortium made up of the provider arm of our PCT and four local, long-established GP practices – one of which is my own – that came together in a bid at the eleventh hour when it became clear efforts to prevent the centre being set up had failed and a bid from a commercial provider was likely to succeed.

This was a clear example of GPs joining forces to prevent further commercialisation in the NHS and acting to safeguard established, local practices.

Neither I, nor any of the other Bridlington practices, have any financial stake in the Bridlington centre.

Moreover, I have ensured our partnership agreement would prevent me from benefiting in any way, should these circumstances change in the future. So my position will not prevent me or the BMA from undertaking the fullest scrutiny of the rollout of Darzi centres.

Your figures do confirm the views I continue to hold – that the imposition of Darzi centres on every PCT was an expensive, unnecessary and unacceptable policy and that it would have been much more cost-effective to use the money to develop existing practices.

From Dr Hamish Meldrum, BMA chair

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