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Sunday, 3 August 2008

Controversial polyclinics will be forced upon towns and villages across the country, The Sunday Telegraph discloses

Polyclinics will be imposed despite ministers’ promises
Article in the Sunday Telegraph


"Ministers have repeatedly insisted that government plans for 300 super-surgeries, housing up to 25 GPs, will not be imposed, but agreed through consultations with local communities.

However, information gathered from primary care trusts (PCTs) leaves those pledges in tatters.

Half of the PCTs that responded said they would not consult on plans to build centres and some cited advice from the Department of Health as the reason for their decision.

The disclosures, from 100 of England’s 152 PCTs, appear to render meaningless recent promises by Alan Johnson, the Health Secretary, who said last month he would “insist” that all decisions on the centres be “taken in consultation with local people”, later adding that there was “no argument for imposing” the plans.

Andrew Lansley, the shadow health secretary, said the new information, gathered by the Conservatives under the Freedom of Information Act, demonstrated the Health Secretary’s pledges to be “no more than spin”.

Mr Lansley said: “Labour has claimed that they are not imposing polyclinics on local people, but these figures expose that lie for what it is.”"

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