There is little evidence to back a wholesale shift to polyclinics in London, the King’s Fund has warned.
Polyclinics bringing together GP practices with a range of other health services are one of the most controversial aspects of the Healthcare for London proposals to overhaul the capital’s healthcare, and are widely opposed by GPs.
The plans are based on a blueprint written by Lord Darzi before he was made junior health minister.
The King’s Fund said the evidence for shifting GPs to polyclinics was weak. Its analysis also suggests polyclinics could be more costly than hospital care and may not cut demand on accident and emergency.
It urged caution and said there was a case to pilot and thoroughly evaluate any new approach.
It suggested that “less ambitious models” may be more appropriate, such as “hubs” which incorporate some GP practices and serve others.
The King’s Fund also questioned some figures in the document and whether the plans would really lead to an anticipated£1.3bn savings.
For more analysis, see this week’s leader.