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Medicopolitical Digest

Medicopolitical digestGPs want walk in centres piloted properlyJunior doctors call for health taxBMA receives assurances on Health Bill

BMJ 1999; 318 doi: (Published 24 April 1999) Cite this as: BMJ 1999;318:1149

GPs want walk in centres piloted properly

Representatives of Britain's 35 000 GPs have agreed that family doctors must be involved in the establishment of the walk in health centres which the government has agreed should be set up in England.

Last week the prime minister announced that £30m would be made available this year from the capital modernisation fund to fund the first 20 centres. Up to £280m will be available over three years to promote the centres and develop NHS Direct—the nurse led 24 hour telephone helpline (p 1096).

The prime minister said that the centres would “offer people the opportunity to see a doctor or a nurse face to face. They will open from 7 am until 10 pm weekdays and weekends, to provide information and treatment for minor conditions with or without appointments.”

The General Practitioners Committee agreed that with the current shortage of GPs the initiative could help to address the growth in workload and respond to the demand from patients for wider access. But it was worried that by offering non-emergency out of hours care the clinics could generate additional demands.

General practice's main features must be kept

During the …

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