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BMA urges patients to fight polyclinics plans

19 September 2008

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Patients at GP practices across England are being targeted by a new poster and leaflet campaign urging them to take action against plans to impose GP-led health centres and polyclinics in every region.

The initiative, part of the BMA’s “Support Your Surgery” campaign, advises patients how to contact those who can influence the decision-making process in their area.

Dr Laurence Buckman, chairman of the BMA’s GP committee, said: “We are very grateful to the 1.3 million patients who have shown their support for NHS general practice.

“However, the threat is still there and although the government has told all primary care trusts they must have a new polyclinic or GP-led health centre, ultimately the decisions about where and how these will be run will be made locally.

“The patient voice should be central to this entire process and yet far too often it is being ignored. In the majority of places there hasn’t been any consultation whatsoever and these plans are being rushed through at breakneck speed with no thought for their long term impact.”

Dr Buckman added: “We want all patients to find out what’s going on and make sure their voices are heard as these changes will affect their local services.”

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