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Warner: move GPs from their 'silos'

GPs should be moved out of their 'silo surgeries' and into new one-stop shops housing a variety of health services, health minister Lord Warner has said.

Speaking to a conference on the NHS LIFT scheme, Lord Warner said patients should not have to travel between GP surgeries, outpatient clinics and pharmacists to receive care.

Local authorities and NHS trusts should combine to build one-stop shops, or 'super centres' housing other services such as physios, specialist

nurses and social workers, he added.

Lord Warner said: 'The primary, community and social care of tomorrow cannot be delivered from the facilities of yesterday.'

But his comments have been derided by GPs, who said the Government had failed to invest the money required to make the change happen.

Dr Peter Holden, GPC negotiator with responsibility for premises and a GP in Matlock, Derbyshire, said: 'If he wants super centres he needs to end the premises funding famine. To do it here will need up to £5m. That will not happen with a PCT that is broke.'

Dr Peter Swinyard, former chair of the GPC premises sub-committee, said most patients travelled to their GP practice on foot. He said: 'Some are pushing prams or carrying babies. For a super surgery patients would need to take a bus, which may not pass near their home.'

Lord Warner said NHS LIFT had already funded 93 health and social care centres and 70 more were being built.

A Pulse survey last month found one in seven GP premises – well over 1,000 in total – were below minimum standards.

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