New polyclinic draws 1,000 patients in its first month
By Steve Nowottny
One of London's first polyclinics has attracted more than 1,000 patients in its first four weeks, it has been revealed.
Health minister Lord Darzi officially opened the Alexandra Avenue clinic in Harrow, west London, part of a federated system linking six local practices with a range of new services such as minor surgery, blood tests, and a prescription drop off and medication review service.
And local health chiefs insisted that despite controversy GPs, the polyclinic – one of the first seven to open in the capital – had proved ‘hugely popular' with patients.
The Alexandra Avenue clinic is open from 8am to 8pm, seven days a week, offering bookable appointments and a walk-in service, and more than 300 people visited the polyclinic on weekends or bank holidays during its first month of operation.
Lord Darzi said: ‘Residents' response to this polyclinic has been overwhelming. Just eight weeks after opening its doors the centre is already demonstrating its value to the community in providing convenient and accessible high-quality health services.'
‘Polyclinics such as this one in Harrow are helping tackle two of the biggest problems in the capital, namely patients finding it difficult to get a GP appointment and people turning up at A&E when they should be seeing their family doctor.'
Dr David Lloyd, medical director of Harmoni and a GP at one of the local surgeries which provides service at the polyclinic, added: ‘We thought we knew what our patients wanted and always tried to make sure we were accessible.'
‘However, the one comment we hear from people in the polyclinic over and over again is how much better it is to be able to see a GP or nurse at a time that suits them and their hectic lives rather than the health service.'