Will polyclinics lead to practice closures and overworked doctors?
Imagine you suddenly develop unbearable back pain. Is it just a strained muscle or could it be something more serious? If you live in London, instead of phoning your general practitioner (GP), you call a taxi to take you to the new polyclinic. You just walk in and see a GP, a specialist, a physiotherapist too, if you like, then on your way out you get your drugs from the pharmacy. All in one visit, and believed by some to be the answer to the healthcare demands of the 21st century. But will they be able to fulfil their promises?
In December 2006, the Department of Health asked Ara Darzi to review health care in London and propose changes for the NHS. The department felt that changes were required because medicine is changing every day and London’s health services have failed to provide the modern and integrated health care that