Wandsworth LMC urges NHS to keep neighbourhood GPs local
This week Wandsworth Local Medical Committee (LMC) formally responded to Healthcare for London’s ‘Consulting the Capital’ and it raised major concerns over some of the proposed changes. The LMC is concerned that the proposed introduction of polyclinics will seriously impact on GP surgery locality, continuity of care and long standing patient-doctor relationships.
Dr Sian Job, Chair of Wandsworth LMC, says: “Wandsworth has already been assessing the provision and distribution of healthcare within the community. The extensive Wandsworth North consultation has identified local health care developments and further work in other areas of the borough is planned. Wandsworth LMC is concerned that local needs already voiced by local health professionals and extensively by the public, should not be railroaded by an inflexible polyclinic model, but rather be supported by Healthcare for London as innovation by the local health economy which is sensitive to local needs.
“We support a number of the proposals in ‘Consulting the Capital’, for example, the principles of delivering healthcare that are better, safer and more accessible. However, the consultation makes the huge assumption that the most frequent users of Wandsworth’s GP surgeries – the chronically sick, carers, the elderly and parents with young children – would happily give up their neighbourhood surgery to travel across London to get to one of 150 polyclinics.”
She adds: “I feel that the commitment of the non-clinical team in helping the community has been totally devalued and ignored in the proposals, and may be seriously under threat if single site polyclinics are put into practice. There seems to be a total lack of understanding about the 'value added' of having the local dedicated teams we have in GP surgeries.”
Dr Tony Stanton, Joint Chief Executive of Londonwide LMCs, adds: “We understand the consultation, which has attracted just over 2,000 responses cost around £11million – enough to provide nearly 10,000 patients living with depression access to cognitive behavioural therapy. GPs are already working in networks and in many cases, grouping together to offer wider services to their patients. The NHS needs to build on this and provide funding to strengthen practice teams. We also need more healthcare professionals working in the community."
Notes to Editors:
- For media enquiries or to arrange an interview, contact: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0207 387 2034, ext 239 or out of hours call the press office mobile: 07809 389 885 or 07881 780481
- A copy of the report can be found at: http://www.lmc.org.uk/news/news-detail.aspx?dsid=1676
- Londonwide LMCs represents the capital’s 6000 GPs and their practice teams and encouraged GPs to respond personally to the consultation. In addition to the report, a further 21 local medical committees have submitted a formal responses to the consultation – see appendix for a summary of these