This site is intended for health professionals only

At the heart of general practice since 1960

Read the latest issue online

A faulty production line

There's no logic to the placement of polyclinics

We are three individual practices in a LIFT building in Golborne in the Wigan area. Wigan has been designated an under-doctored area and has therefore attracted funding for new GP practices.

In our locality there are nine GPs to serve a small population, so we all have open lists and far from maximum patient list sizes.

Two miles away the area has only one GP serving a similar sized population.

Common sense says to put the extra services there, but instead the PCT has told GPs in our building it intends to carve up our accommodation and install a new GP practice.

This is despite the lack of deprivation in this area, the bountiful supply of GPs and the acute needs of the neighbouring area.

This is just another box to be ticked, rather than a policy designed to meet the needs of patients, and will cause destabilisation of practices and redundancies.

We think that's actually the plan, to get primary care into the direct control of PCTs and the Government.

Dr Abid Shahbazi, Dr A Anis, Dr Y Anis, Dr D Pal and Dr M Pal, Wigan, Lancashire

Only GPs are qualified to do our job - a message we need to send to our patients, private sector health providers and the Government. If doctors tell politicians that nurses, pharmacists and therapists can do our job, that is who they will allow the private sector to employ in their polyclinics.

I studied for 10 years to become a GP after first earning a place at medical school by being among the highest academic achievers in the land.

Let us not devalue ourselves, especially at a time when the Government is doing everything it can to undermine us.

Would the lawyers who fill seats in the House of Commons allow unqualified staff to offer cut-price legal advice or change the law to facilitate it?

Dr Rick Freeman, Northampton

The traditional gatekeeper role of current general practice saves the NHS huge amounts of money. Loss of this would be as spectacular a miscalculation by the Department of Health as the underpricing of out-of-hours care. Patients with chronic diseases will never be able to get the same service outside the traditional model of general practice.

In addition, the training of the next generation will be severely compromised. I particularly fear for the management of the terminally ill and their families.

I feel this could be a crucial moment in the future of traditional general practice. GPs and their patients from all over the country must be united and a national petition handed in at No.10.

I recall surgeons on the streets of Paris a few years ago had the government there running scared.

Dr Steve Pillow, Bebington, Wirral

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