Canary Wharf commuters can soon pick an NHS GP near their work

Commuters in Canary Wharf in London’s East End can soon register at a GP surgery near their work if they prefer, rather than be restricted to where they actually live.

East London and City NHS is running one of several pilot schemes to trial the NHS ‘workplace’ registration idea which starts in April.

Health Secretary Andrew Lansley announced the scheme today (Friday) to give people “more choice” over which surgery they would rather go to—without the current restrictions of practice boundaries.

One of the surgeries involved is the Barkantine practice at Millwall on the Isle of Dogs—close to the Canary Wharf business district.

Barkantine’s Dr Stuart Bingham said: “We found six-out-of-10 commuters in a survey we conducted around Canary Wharf Underground station said that they would like to register at a practice near their place of work. This is an opportunity to give patients that choice.”

Close by are the Docklands Medical and Island Medical practices which are also involved in the ‘commuter register’ scheme.

Mabli Jones, operations director of the Hurley Group which runs both practices, said: “This is a chance to test ways of getting more flexibility for those commuting to work, to get medical services at a time and place convenient to them.”

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The one-year pilot starts in April in Tower Hamlets and neighbouring Hackney, as well as Westminster, Nottingham and Manchester—all areas with high numbers of commuters.

The scheme follows Department of Health findings which the Minister said exposed “a significant minority of patients” who have problems choosing a practice. It means they can soon get primary care service “to suit them and not be restricted by geographical boundaries.”