Polyclinics will force patients to travel further for the same level of care and fail to ease pressure on NHS hospitals, a report has said.
While they may be able to offer patients a wider range of services, there is no evidence larger GP practices deliver better care than smaller ones, an analysis of government plans for “supersurgeries” found.
The study, from think-tank the King’s Fund, is a blow to ministers who are facing mounting opposition over polyclinics.
The British Medical Association (BMA) has launched a Support Your Surgery campaign with a petition against private involvement in the NHS and expressed fears over the closure of local GP practices.
The Tories released data in April suggesting that up to a fifth of GP surgeries in England were under threat of closure.
But Health Secretary Alan Johnson hit back saying the 150 new “GP-run” health centres are being paid for with new money and will not lead to a reduction in traditional GP services.
Polyclinics are designed to bring together groups GPs with a range of services, such as diagnostic testing, minor surgery, blood tests and X-rays.
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“The system of polyclinics is a Russian one – the system is over-beaucratized, inefficient, and has been a failure in Russia. Russia is a large country. UK is not. NHS has been a proven success. Russian model of care is not. DUMP THE PLAN WHICH WILL CREATE WHITE ELEPHANTS” – Dr Hitesh Kothari, Liverpool