GPs get together as London’s new polyclinic’ appears
A DOCTORS’ surgery in London’s deprived East End is one of the first in the capital to become one of the controversial polyclinics’ in the reshaping of the NHS The Barkantine health centre on the Isle of Dogs has been declared a super surgery’ with its dentist, birth centre and even minor surgery—all under one roof
A DOCTORS’ surgery in London’s deprived East End is one of the first in the capital to become one of the controversial polyclinics’ in the reshaping of the NHS.
The Barkantine health centre on the Isle of Dogs has been declared a super surgery,’ offering services including a dentistry, a birth centre and even minor ops—all under one roof.
GPs at the centre at Westferry Road in Millwall are also available seven days a week with counselling, foot health, tests and scans. Dieticians also on hand.
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But patients and doctors have been concerned about plans for the larger health centres over fears they could lead to the closure of existing surgeries and the loss of the traditional local GP.
A study by the Londonwide Local Medical committees last year revealed most patients in the East End would prefer seeing their familiar GP remain in a surgery nearby.
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But plans were given the green light last year for 150 polyclinics across London by a joint committee of the 31 primary care trusts.
Health chiefs in Tower Hamlets insist the centres won’t threaten the neighbourhood surgeries.
Instead, there will be eight networks across Tower Hamlets with surgeries grouped together with one larger polyclinic’ as the hub.
Dr Kambiz Boomla, a GP at Poplar’s Chrisp Street centre who chairs the East London Local Medical committee, told the East London Advertiser: “What wasn’t welcomed was polyclinics only’, single buildings that wouldn’t be within pram-pushing distance for mothers to go and see their GPs. This would have meant local surgeries closing down.
“But all the surgeries in Tower Hamlets are coming together into eight networks, on the basis that health services are being shared. This is welcome.”
There are also plans for a super centre’ as part of the new housing development on the site of the old St Andrew’s Hospital in Bromley-by-Bow.