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BMA chairman heads new polyclinic consortium

8 January 2009

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A contract to run one of the health centres opposed by doctors has reportedly been awarded to a consortium including the British Medical Association (BMA) chief.

The BMA has itself campaigned against the centres because they would allegedly destroy the relationship between GPs and patients, the Guardian newspaper reports.

However, BMA chairman Dr Hamish Meldrum (pictured) has set up a joint venture in Bridlington, East Yorkshire, to bid for a £4m, five-year contract to provide the extra services.

Partners including the East Riding of Yorkshire PCT will offer services seven days a week as a polyclinic in the town’s hospital.

Dr Meldrum had himself attacked “the ham-fisted imposition of polyclinics” at the BMA’s annual conference, and told the Guardian that he opposed the plan for one in Bridlington.

The paper reports that another of the town’s practices had formed a commercial alliance to bid for the contract. The Meldrum consortium put in a rival bid, reportedly to avoid commercialisation of the service.

Health minister Ben Bradshaw said: “I am delighted by this vote of confidence from the head of the BMA in the new GP-led health-centre programme.”

Copyright © Press Association 2009