Redbridge ‘super-surgeries’ plan on hold

Plans for four “super-surgeries” have been put on ice, the Recorder has learned.

Despite the “great success” of the 20,000 capacity Loxford Polyclinic in Ilford Lane, Ilford – which nearly 17,000 people have registered to use in just over two years – plans for more polyclinics have been put on hold.

The brakes have been put on the plans while health minister Andrew Lansley decides on the future of the Health for North East London programme of changes, which include the proposed closure of the borough’s only A&E department.

In 2008, health bosses declared plans for a polyclinic on the site of King George Hospital, Barley Lane, Goodmayes, that would ease pressure on its A&E.

But the future of any GP and urgent care at the Goodmayes site hangs in the balance as part of the wider review to be considered by Mr Lansley from tomorrow (Friday).

A spokesman for Outer North East London NHS (ONEL) said: “Under the current NHS reforms it is now GPs, not politicians, who must take the lead in deciding which services are provided locally, taking on board the views of their patients and other stakeholders.”

Opened by Lord Darzi in April 2009, Loxford’s clinic was the first purpose-built polyclinic in London and a recent patient survey revealed 90 per cent of patients rated the service as good, very good or excellent.

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Polyclinics include GP and outpatient services, minor operation and urgent care clinics.

The ONEL spokesman said: “This doesn’t mean that no new health centres or other facilities will be built going forward – just that we await the decision on the Health for North East London plans before GP consortia can reassess the picture locally.”

A decision on the future of King George Hospital’s A&E and labour ward is expected from Mr Lansley later this year.