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Writing on the wall for Darzi centres

The nationwide network of Darzi centres is to start being dismantled well before contracts expire, Pulse has learned.

GP leaders have revealed talks are already underway between consortia and PCTs across England, following the Department of Health's announcement earlier this month that contracts would be reviewed when they came to a close.

Dr Helena McKeown, a GPC member who is involved in a privately backed GP-led health centre in Salisbury , said she believed her centre would stay open – but told Pulse she had been informed by other GPs that other centres were already being lined up for closure.

‘The impression I get from some areas is that GPs don't feel they are value for money,' she said. ‘I'm sure that these things will be scrutinised.'

And private firm Harmoni, which runs three centres, this week predicted many around the country – particularly those without a strong walk-in element – would be closed ‘sooner rather than later'.