Ruffley calls for answers on Suffolk polyclinics

Sunday, 15 June, 2008

David Ruffley MP has today written to Carole Taylor-Brown, Chief Executive of Suffolk Primary Care Trust (PCT), asking that she release details of areas being considered for polyclinics in Suffolk.

A polyclinic is a large 'super surgery' which involves closing small local GP practices and moving their services into one central unit.

Last week the King's Fund, an independent charitable foundation, published a report called 'Under One Roof'. The report concludes that bringing together multiple services does not always result in better working practices and there is no evidence that larger GP practices deliver higher quality care than smaller ones.

The Royal College of General Practitioners have become the latest professional body to oppose the creation of polyclinics and join a long list of campaign backers- including the British Medical Association (BMA), the Conservative Party, the Family Doctor Association and Londonwide LMCs- for the SOS campaign, which highlights the risk to traditional general practice of imposing polyclinics on communities.

David said:

'There is widespread concern across Suffolk that the Government is going to impose large impersonal polyclinics on our community.

'Therefore, I have today written to Carole Taylor-Brown, Chief Executive of Suffolk PCT, asking that she release details to me of every site in Suffolk currently being considered for a polyclinic.

'Large polyclinics could mean the closure of many local GPs' surgeries across our county.

'Our local GPs' surgeries are at the heart of our community in Suffolk. There are many vulnerable individuals who have built up a substantial level of trust with their GP and these new 'polyclinics' will make that much more difficult to achieve.

'The Royal College of General Practitioners, the BMA and the Family Doctor Association have all come out against these changes. These are the very people on the front line in health care and we should listen to their views.

'Last week the independent King's Fund added their voice to the debate when they published a report that concluded that there is no evidence that larger GP practices deliver a higher quality of care. However, Gordon Brown and his faceless bureaucrats in Whitehall seem determined to press on and impose polyclinics on communities across the country.

'I look forward to receiving a response from Suffolk PCT and can assure local people, and our hard working GPs, that I will be relentless in my support for them on this important issue.'