|proposed polyclinics for GPs
||I would like to express serious concern for the government's proposal to establish large 'poly clinics' to replace the current GP surgeries. Not only will it result in extreme inconvenience for patients in outlying villages such as ours,where public transport is vitually non existent, but also the idea of the PCTs using corporate bodies to administer these clinics fills me with horror. I have first hand experience of selling my dental practice to such a body and lived to regret it in many ways. The dentists were mere employees bringing in an income for the company who dont care how that is carried out, having no regard for patient care. Targets are everything!I fear the doctors would suffer in the same way.
Having just retired from 35 years of caring for patients' mouths I know a little bit about how we should be looking after our patients !
I have signed the petition against the proposals which Pat Bassett had at her surgery, but wanted to try and emphasise my feelings !
Best wishes from
|Date Issue Raised:
||05 Jun 2008
||Thank you for this email about the Government’s plans to create ‘polyclinics’ to provide general practice and other primary care services.
The Government say that polyclinics provide the opportunities for care closer to people’s homes, rather than in hospitals, but I know that their plan to force GPs into them is proving to be very unpopular.
The Conservative Party does not support the Government’s approach to primary care and general practice. I feel that single-handed GPs and small GP Practices need to network so they have access to diagnostics and are part of proper clinical governance, but I don't agree with forcing GPs into big polyclinics. GPs are local, by definition, and the public need a choice of styles of GP. The new Labour minister Lord Darzi is looking at this area in his review and I have been concerned with the direction he is taking. He seems to be saying polyclinics are the only way forward and has admitted that doctors will, effectively, be forced into them using the GP contract. It is quite wrong and I do not agree with him.
There are places where family doctor services are weak and a polyclinic could deliver better community access to services. But there are other areas where GPs are much stronger and there is no case for shutting down hundreds of local GPs' surgeries. Nor is there any sense in shipping out services from local district general hospitals if they are viable, successful and accessible. Communities which have lost their Post Office, their local shops, their police station, are going to lose their doctor. So the Conservative Party will fight Labour’s plans to close GP surgeries. We pledge to save the family doctor service from Gordon Brown’s NHS cuts.
GPs are senior professionals and Conservatives will not micro-manage them or dictate where they should work, as we are more concerned in the health outcomes for patients rather than the processes used to get there. We would develop the Government’s Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF) to reward clinical quality, patient satisfaction and patient-reported outcomes by giving GPs greater budgetary responsibility as commissioners of care.
Patients should have greater scope to choose their GP and to exercise choices over their treatment and care through their GP. To do this, we would ensure there are no barriers to the opening of new surgeries, and would reward GPs who choose to deliver services in deprived and under-doctored areas.
Where polyclinics do occur, they should occur naturally, as the voluntary combination of free agents – not as the latest structural re-organisation of the NHS.
Full details of Conservatives’ policy on Primary Care and GP services are set out in the document; ‘The patient will see you now, Doctor’ which can be found online at www.conservatives.com.
I hope my letter has addressed the serious points you make about polyclinics and general practice. I agree with every word you say about the Doctor-Patient Relationship - it is at the heart of primary care in this country and we lose it at our peril.
Best wishes, George Young