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Health chiefs announce shake-up of London NHS

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PLANS to create a network of polyclinics and specialist hospitals across London were rubber-stamped at a meeting of health chiefs in London today.

The meeting of representatives of London’s Primary Care Trusts agreed plans that will make health minister Lord Darzi’s vision of healthcare in the capital reality.

PCTs will now oversee plans calling for:

• Specialist care for children to be focused in fewer specialist hospitals,

• Between three and six specialist hospital to treat trauma patients,

• A network of up to seven stroke hospitals providing 24/7 urgent care, with others providing cover during the day,

• More specialist hospitals dealing with complex emergency surgery,

• Ambulance staff should be instructed to take seriously ill patients to the appropriate specialist centre, even if there is another hospital nearby,

• A greater proportion of future spending should go to help people with long-term conditions by investing in more GPs, specialist nurses and other health professionals.

The plans also recommended to create a ‘polyclinic model of care’, tailored to the needs of the local population over the course of the 10-year plan.

Richard Sumray, chair of the joint committee of PCTs, which has overall responsibility for the consultation, said: ‘This is the start of the journey and the NHS as a whole will need to be bold and make difficult decisions, in order to deliver the kind of services that Londoners have told us they want.’

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