ARE POLYCLINICS WOBBLING?
The Witch Doctor thinks the government is backtracking a bit on polyclinics. This is probably because of the background “noise” that is being generated against them (remember the effect that “noise” had on MTAS).
And, the voters.
But there is another reason.
Polyclinics simply cannot function in the way intended without a successful national computer based medical record system. Patients, after all, were supposed to be in a position to walk in and out of clinics anywhere they fancied.
NPfIT is now years behind and could well be overtaken by a different type of health record controlled by patients rather than the state.
So, everything is getting a bit complex.
At the moment, without access to a universal patient record system, GP’s will have to be wooed a bit. They will have to be cajoled into the polyclinics (new health centres) and bring their patient records with them.
Wooed but not fooled.
THE DESTRUCTION OF THE TANGIBLE – JUST FOR NOW!
So there is a wind of change. Tangible polyclinics are becoming intangible virtual entities where GPs and patients stay put but seem have closer links with other facilities situated somewhere else.
Everything will need to slow down.
For the moment.
There is a debate in the BMJ this week.
The “for” side suggests a new name – “INTERGRATED CENTRE”
This is what Michael Dixon, Chair of the NHS Alliance says:
Better public relations
“So why the negative press? Partly, it is the name. Polyclinic has connotations of regimented queues outside an impersonal Soviet style concrete building. Indeed, the word “clinic” suggests a very biomedical approach, whereas the proposed primary care led polyclinics would have everything to do with personal relationships, self help, personal health, and improving community health. So perhaps we should change the name to “integrated centre.”
No, Mr Dixon, you don’t get it.
It is nothing to do with the name.
The whole business reeks of turning patients into a commodities to help keep the economy afloat and to line the pockets of men and women in the boardrooms of big national and multinational companies.
We witches are all for bolstering the economy if we can.
But the NHS is taboo.
The economy should not be bolstered at the expense of patients.
That is what the noise is about!
We do not envisage Soviet style concrete buildings at all.
We envisage big business in luxury premises enticing the clients as well as patients to pay for many un-necessary services offered by staff who have been well trained in “customer service” but who have only a few “competencies” and don’t cost much to employ.
We’re not too concerned about clients.
But we’re damned worried about patients!
That’s why we say no!
Try to understand, Mr Dixon, will you?
It’s pretty straightforward, after all.
ILLNESS SHOULD NOT BECOME A COMMODITY!
The concept is not difficult to grasp!
a red apple ……………………
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