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I am reliably informed that on the 4th January, somewhere in Somerset " a £10.5m health centre opens housing 130 health professionals including 30 GPs, a mental health team and an operating theatre. It aims to integrate primary and secondary care, with hospital consultants seeing patients in their own community".
Now correct me if I am wrong but this sounds remarkably like the kind of Darzian polyclinic that was envisaged in a previous reform of the NHS.
Is this the first or are there examples of such clinics across Enland? I only ask because we have nothing similar in Scotland.
It's not that I can't see the attractions however. It would be great to have all the primary care specialists working together under the same roof rather than pulling against each other because they seldom see or interact with one another.
As for secondary care consultants seeing people "in their own community" we have had that in rural Scotland for decades, with local community hospital being used to provide both out-patient clinics and out reach services such as endoscopy or the type of surgery (e.g. hernia repair) that can be done under local anaesthetic.
But are we to expect secodary care colleagues to visit a town say 10 or 20 miles from their general hospital? I think it would be good to get more secondary care colleagues out and about. Likewise it would be good if we GPs spent more time in secondary care settings. Sadly I doubt either is going to happen.