Page last updated at 09:51 GMT, Sunday, 6 July 2008 10:51 UK

New surgeries 'no threat' to GPs

Lord Darzi on the BBC's Andrew Marr Show

No GP surgeries will close due to the introduction of super-surgeries in England, a health minister has said.

Lord Darzi said no practices would be forced to shut due to the 150 new centres which will house doctors alongside other medical staff.

He told the BBC's Andrew Marr Show: "This is additional money, this is not replacing current practices."

The Conservatives and some GPs have warned the larger clinics could threaten smaller GP practices.

'Extended access'

Lord Darzi said: "We want patients to have the choice. Patients are telling us they want better access. These centres will open eight to eight, seven days a week.

"Is there anything wrong with being able to access your GP on a Saturday or a Sunday? You don't have to change your registration. You can still stay with your GP."

Under the 250m plans, every English Primary Care Trust (PCT) will have its own GP-led polyclinic.

But the British Medical Association has warned the plans will depersonalise care and the Tories have claimed up to 1,700 surgeries could be at risk.

Critics have also claimed the new clinics will be imposed on areas where there is no need for them and that the money could be better spent by local PCTs.

Meeting over new clinic proposals
16 Jun 08 |  Lancashire
GPs campaign against polyclinics
02 Jun 08 |  Lancashire
Fifth of GP surgeries 'at risk'
21 Apr 08 |  Health
'Super surgery' plans condemned
16 Feb 08 |  Health

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Lancashire Evening Post GPs stepping up new health centre battle - 37 hrs ago

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