Where is the money for Darzi centres coming from?BMJ 2008; 336 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.39583.699965.3A (Published 22 May 2008) Cite this as: BMJ 2008;336:1145
Whether the money allocated to Darzi centres will be totally new money or come out of existing primary care funding remains unclear.1 In my locality, general practitioners have been told that there is no new money for this purpose. Therefore the Darzi centre will directly compete with existing practices for patients, and some practices will inevitably be forced to close.
Who will staff the Darzi centres is also unclear. The centres will be put out to tender, and if the tenders are awarded to private firms, completely different models of health care could be imposed that need not involve general practitioners or even doctors at any time.
Much depends on the contractual agreements with individual primary care trusts, and whether authority trusts will have to ensure that the services are maintained to the standards expected of existing practices, or even whether trusts would deem current clinical governance procedures relevant or applicable to a centre operating under a different model of healthcare provision.
Furthermore, private organisations must operate at a profit and are under no obligation to recognise any trade unions or offer the usual NHS rates of pay.
Competing interests: NVT is a general practitioner working in the NHS.