84% of Ealing Residents Say 'No' to Polyclinics

Angie Bray conducts survey on local services

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Patient and Public Involvement Forum

During the summer, Angie Bray, Conservative Parliamentary Candidate for the new Ealing Central & Acton constituency, conducted a survey of local residents seeking their views on local NHS and other services. The survey gave residents the opportunity to have their say about the provision of healthcare in the area, and voice their concerns over the changing nature of the system.

The survey showed that 84% of respondents would oppose Government plans to establish a polyclinic, if it would mean the closure of the local GP practice, in their area. 51% opposed them outright, whilst a further 33% opposed them if they were to lead to the closure of existing GP surgeries.

Whilst the Government has yet to finalise any plans, Angie Bray met with Ealing Primary Care Trust (PCT) to present the findings of the survey and to seek clarification of the stage at which the proposals are. Ealing PCT insisted that there are no immediate plans to introduce any polyclinics into Ealing or to force smaller GP practices to close down or move. However, they also acknowledge that some small GP surgeries do not meet all the required criteria now demanded by the NHS, such as full disabled access, which may mean that they cannot continue to fund these premises.

Speaking after the meeting, held on Tuesday 28th October, Angie said;

“I, like the majority of local residents, am very concerned by Government plans to impose these polyclinics across London. In my capacity as Conservative candidate for Ealing Central & Acton, I will maintain a close eye on progress made, and ensure that the views of local residents are properly represented at all levels.

"Having been so badly let down by the Government and the local Labour MP over the forced closure of Post Offices, despite overwhelming public opinion, I can understand people’s very real concern about the erosion of yet more local services. I was assured that no plans currently exist to impose a polyclinic in our area, but I will continue to liaise with local GPs to ensure that if new proposals do come forward, the views and needs of local people and in particular the vulnerable such as the elderly, mothers and the disabled, are the main criteria against which they are judged.”

Angie is concerned that further Government pressure may be applied to PCTs like Ealing in an attempt to push polyclinics despite the public’s opposition. They are already demanding that every London borough opens at least one polyclinic within the next five years, so Angie intends to keep a very close watch on the situation.

November 4, 2008