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PCTs begin to defy Government on polyclinics

By Gareth Iacobucci

PCTs have for the first time broken ranks to reject the Government's centrally imposed plans for polyclinics.

Two trusts have abandoned proposals for GP-led health centres as a poor use of money, in a direct challenge to Lord Darzi's plans for every PCT to have at least one.

Herefordshire PCT has scrapped plans to tender for a standalone GP-led health centre after a local needs analysis revealed it would cost an estimated £1.1m in staff exspenses alone, and that patients were already happy with GP access.

‘It was therefore considered this service model was neither affordable nor represented value for money,' the trust said.

Instead it is to conduct a joint tender to provide some extra GP services alongside out-of-hours provision.

Buckinghamshire PCT, which had already embarked on a tender process for its Darzi clinic, has shelved all applications, admitting ‘on reflection the PCT decided further work was necessary to assess the most cost-effective and operationally sound model'.

It is considering spending the money on various rival projects including out-of-hours provision and an urgent care service.

Paul Edwards, director of commissioning and strategy at Herefordshire PCT, told Pulse the trust had been concerned about implementing a ‘one-size-fits-all model' after discussions with the LMC, the local PCT board and the SHA.

He said: ‘When put into the local rural context, the national model didn't seem to make much sense. We've got no single-handers, list sizes are very small and patient surveys are saying very good things about access.'

Polyclinics: PCTs have begun breaking ranks Polyclinics: PCTs have begun breaking ranks

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