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Darzi centres ‘are fuelling PCT deficits’

By Ian Quinn

The legacy of the previous Government's network of Darzi centres is leaving PCTs facing financial shortfalls of up to £300,000 a year, NHS managers have claimed.

NHS Bromley has blamed its entire primary care deficit, tipped to reach £290,000 by April, on its GP-led health centre contract, which it claimed had created artificial demand for services.

A PCT spokesperson said: ‘As is the case with many other GP-led health centres in other PCTs, the huge popularity of the centre with local people plus the utilisation of the facility by high numbers of non-registered patients, who were all exercising patient choice, far exceeded the predictions made by the commissioners.'

The PCT plans to review its contract with the centre in 2013/14 as its five-year deal, signed in October 2009, comes to a close.

It comes as NHS Haringey, which revealed in November that both of its Darzi centres are set to close, claimed they had cost a combined £666,000 a year.

Duncan Stroud, associate director of communications and engagement at the trust, said: ‘The majority of patients who have been using the centres could quite easily have used another service. They were mainly patients who hadn't registered with a GP or hadn't made an appointment. They were basically created a demand which wasn't there before.'

A recent Pulse investigation found that PCTs across England are renegotiating dozens of Darzi centre contracts in a bid to make cost-savings.

Darzi centres 'are fuelling PCT deficits'