The Government last week announced plans for the first five polyclinics to be built in the capital. This initial group of clinics are expected to be open by spring next year and will be based on some of the capital’s most deprived or under-doctored areas.
According to NHS London, patients in the capital have to wait longer to see their GP than anywhere else in the country. It’s claimed that the new polyclinics, which combine multiple services on a single site, will reduce waiting times.
NHS London has released the following information on the initial five clinics:
Harrow PCT, Alexandra Avenue – Services at this existing health and social care centre will be extended to include new GP practices, an expansion of outpatient services and access to diagnostics. An urgent care services will also be introduced. Up to six existing GP practices will be part of the network.
Hounslow PCT, Heart of Hounslow – The existing health centre will soon offer 7-day a week GP services and aims to extend outpatient and diagnostic provision. Up to seven existing practices will be part of the network.
Lambeth PCT, Gracefield Gardens – Formally opened in June 08 the development is based on the existing health and social care centre, and from April 09 will include a 7-day a week GP access with hospital services such as outpatients and diagnostics. Up to 21 GP practices will be part of the network.
Redbridge PCT, Loxford Centre – The first purpose built polyclinic centre to open its doors in Spring 09 will be situated in the most deprived area of this borough. The centre will provide the full range of polyclinic services with extended access hours. Four practices will be part of the network.
Waltham Forest PCT – The PCT has a strategy for three polyclinic centres to serve the borough with at least one operational in Spring 09. The PCT is currently seeking providers to deliver the full range of polyclinic services in the most appropriate location.
NHS London Chief Executive Ruth Carnall described the clinics as “a London solution to a London problem.”
Carnall also said the clinics would “tackle two of the biggest problems in the capital, namely patients finding it difficult to get a GP appointment and the result which is people turning up at A&E when they should be seeing their family doctor.”