Liverpool primary care trust is to take forward plans to bring substantially more care into the community.

The trust board has approved plans for£100m to be invested in new or refurbished buildings. It will also recruit 200 more doctors and nurses to deliver enhanced services over the next seven years.

The strategy, A New Health Service for Liverpool, has been informed by a year-long consultation, The Big Health Debate, which involved Liverpool patients, GPs and other stakeholders (see 'When Norma, Dot and Beckie had their say about NHS care...').

PCT chief executive Derek Campbell said the annual revenue costs would be£20m-£30m. The money .has been made available through year-on-year surpluses of around£18m.

The plans include three new NHS treatment centres which will serve 100,000-150,000 of Liverpool's 450,000 population.

The centre will provide 24/7 services and will join up with out-of-hours care, diagnostics and walk-in services.

'By 2014 Alder Hey Children's Hospital and the Royal Liverpool University Hospital will have new buildings and we will have a new primary care infrastructure which has been informed by the public, clinicians, the council and patients,' he said.

There would be 20-25 neighbourhood health centres serving a population of 20,000-25,000, and 30-40 local surgeries.

The PCT claims that, in partnership with local transport authorities, it has devised a model where services are accessible by public transport and core services are within a 15-minute walk for everyone in the city.

Liverpool PCT professional executive committee chair Dr John Hussey said clinicians were in favour of the plans and that at a meeting of the local medical committee they unanimously showed their support for moving to new premises.

The plans will see the number of practices and clinics fall from 120 to around 60.

An implementation framework will be worked out over the next two months with stakeholders and is set for final approval in September.