BMA continues polyclinics fight

The British Medical Association (BMA) is looking to a new ally in its fight against polyclinics – patients.

It is sending leaflets out to GP practices across England today in a bid to get patients involved in its Support Your Surgery campaign.

The literature contains contact details for those who influence the decision-making process locally, where the battle to resist government plans for GP-led health centres and polyclinics will be fought.

The BMA’s GP committee chair Laurence Buckman said it was time for the 1.3 million patients who supported their NHS general practice to mobilise again because “the threat is still there”.

“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,” he said.

“The patient voice should be central to this entire process and yet far too often it is being ignored.”

Dr Buckman is critical of the fact there has been little consultation and that the plans are being “rushed through at break-neck speed”.

He 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.”