No polyclinics

PUBLISHED: 11:42 25 September 2008 | UPDATED: 13:37 06 May 2010

SIR, — I was disappointed to read (Herts Advertiser, September 18) that GPs in Herts are continuing to suggest that polyclinics will lead to local surgery closures. They will not. In fact there are no polyclinics planned for Herts. In reality they will be

SIR, - I was disappointed to read (Herts Advertiser, September 18) that GPs in Herts are continuing to suggest that polyclinics will lead to local surgery closures. They will not. In fact there are no polyclinics planned for Herts. In reality they will be introduced in London areas where there are gaps in provision caused, in part, by an acute lack of group practices. Thankfully we do not have those concerns in Herts.

What the Darzi review of the NHS did propose was 152 GP-led health centres, one in each PCT, which will be additional to existing provision. These centres will be open from 8am-8pm, seven days a week and will provide a minimum of 2.6 million extra appointments a year across the country. The review also proposed to establish at least 50 new GP practices in under-served areas. I assume that Herts doctors are not opposed to these proposals since they will help make services more personalised and accessible and will not replace any existing surgeries.

Thanks to the hard work of doctors, nurses and other health professionals combined with the sustained investment from a Labour Government, there is a good range of health provision in the area. We have excellent group practices across the county and there are two planned walk-in GP centres at the Hemel Hempstead and QEII Hospitals to complement existing services.

I think, therefore, that it is time to end the scaremongering about polyclinics and stick to delivering better health outcomes for the public.

OLI de BOTTON,

Labour Parliamentary candidate for Hitchin and Harpenden.

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