Posted by: Witch Doctor | August 25, 2008

Polyclinics – Assura rests assured

The Oldest Sage Witch posted this on the 7 of August:

“ASSURA WELCOMES NHS CHANGES” (the link to exact page has now gone)

Assura, a medical property investment company which is now diversifying, saw it’s shares fall from 249p to 84p within a year.

However, Lord Darzi’s plan suits them just fine.

“Lord Darzi’s recent review on the future of primary healthcare ‘fully endorses’ the company’s own strategy and suggests recent Department of Health pronouncements ‘indicate the market will be opened up faster and wider’.”

Yes, speed is the thing now”……

In the meantime, Assura’s share price has fallen further. It closed at 79.50p on Friday:


So, now, as promised by Lord Darzi, “The market is opening up faster and wider”


” Private sector companies are being handed key roles in deciding which GP surgeries will face the axe, under controversial plans to consolidate smaller practices in new premises, Pulse can reveal.

Some GPs are already have already been pitched into disputes over the move, with private firm Assura working as a consultant for South West Essex PCT to run the rule over a string of small practices in the area, influencing which will move to new polyclinic style premises.

Meanwhile the Department of Health admits that under its Framework for procuring External Support for Commissioners (FESC) scheme, private sector companies will help PCTs shape the consolidation of services.

South West Essex PCT is using Assura Group to look at the need for new health facilities in the Tilbury area, having already come up with plans to close what it claims are ‘crumbling’ surgeries elsewhere in the area.”

Assura are very keen on Health and Wellness and are happy to link clinical with alternative therapy not only in the same sentence, but rather in the same word:

Why wouldn’t they?

“Each ASSURA HEALTH AND WELLNESS CENTRE is created to provide a flexible accommodation solution which is able to house a wide variety of clinical/alternative therapy procedures. All Assura Health and Wellness Centres also incorporate GP surgeries and a pharmacy, which we believe is beneficial for both the patient and the Health Professional in terms of providing a full health and wellness service, as well as expanding the scope and potential of your own business.”

N.B The bold text is mine.

Yes, lets tell the punters about all the crumbling GP surgeries, and how Assura will come to the rescue!

And encourage the punters to spend money.

Who, after all, would want to see their GP in a crumbling ruin?

Who exactly is being rescued?


  1. Assura are rescuing the stressed out city slickers. Dr Grumble thinks they might be more stressed out after they have received the report on their heart monitor. Or is that the idea? Will they then spend more money on more tests of dubious value. Or will the NHS pick up the bill for generating worry in the well?

  2. And what are these alternative therapies? Are they real, or pseudo-medicine?

  3. To me, the creation of a false market for investigations which are at best dubious and at worst dangerous is the most odious part of what seems to be happening just now.

    My bet is that soon the commercial ploy will be to systematically produce a culture of guilt, and granny’s Christmas stocking will contain a gift token for a total body scan or for the less affluent a quick colonoscopy!

    This will produce a nation of very worried grannies, who will need some Reiki or aromatherapy to help them relax. So another gift token will be popped in with the birthday card.

    So, it won’t just be the city slickers who are getting stressed out. The baby boomers, too, will be targeted!

    Interesting point about whether the NHS picks up the bill. I think you’re thinking what I’m thinking, Dr Grumble.

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