A large, community-based NHS facility that is meant to provide a broader range of services than are currently provided by GP surgeries in the UK.

The cheerleaders at the NHS gushingly asserted that policlinics would provide, “…faster, more convenient, high-quality health services for patients.” The cheerleaders continue: The first policlinics are located in some of London’s most deprived areas, and offer GP services 7 days a week 8am to 8pm, together with services normally provided at hospital, such as outpatient appointments, minor surgery, blood tests, x-rays and access to pharmacy services. A wide range of well-being and support services such as benefits and housing advice, health information and long-term conditions support for people with diabetes and asthma are available. Policlinics offer these services within a single modern facility. The policlinics offer a solution to the problems of GP access and stretched A&E departments. A&E attendances are predicted to increase by 60% in the next 10 years without improved access to local services. In a policlinic, Londoners can get immediate attention for minor injuries and illness, and access many of the healthcare services available at hospitals. Treating minor injuries and illnesses will reduce unnecessary trips to hospital. The first policlinics were developed according to local needs with strong local support and clinical input, in various settings including new builds, extensions of existing health centres and hospitals. 

Modified from Pioneering Polyclinics to Transform Patient Care Across London April 28, 2009. The NHS poo-bahs propose that policlinics will be where most routine healthcare needs are met. GP practices would be based at polyclinics, but with a greater menu of services

Reference (above) www.library.nhs.uk/HealthManagement/ ViewResource.aspx?resID=267332y

Per those at the King’s Fund, a leading UK health think tank, as reported in the Guardian (05.06.2008), polyclinics could result in a poorer standard of care, and may “…be more expensive, less efficient and less accessible than the traditional family doctor service”.

Synonyms NHS policlinic, polyclinic 

References www.londonhp.nhs.uk/pioneering-polyclinics-to-transform-patient-care-across-london/

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