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Health Centres

Volume 479: debated on Monday 1 September 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many (a) GP practices and (b) primary care centres were (i) opened and (ii) refurbished in the last 12 months; and how many of each are planned to be opened in the next three years. (220577)

The NHS Plan, published in July 2000, set national targets to replace or significantly refurbish up to 3,000 general practitioner (GP) premises and create 500 one-stop primary care centres by 2004. Both targets were met. The target for one-stop centres was extended to create an additional 250 by December 2008.

In the 12 months to 31 March 2008 the number of one-stop primary care centres has increased by 27 to 719 in total. Information on the number of GP practises opened or refurbished and primary care centres refurbished is not collected centrally.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate he has made of the number of patients who will register with new GP-led health centres. (220996)

It is for primary care trusts to estimate the number of patients that will choose to register at a new general practitioner led health centre.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate he has made of the number of primary care trusts that will not open a new GP-led health centre because to do so would be inappropriate given the health needs of their population. (220997)

The Department expects each primary care trust (PCT) to secure a general practitioner (GP) led health centre during 2008-09. As the recent national GP Patient Survey demonstrates, patients across all parts of the country wish to have greater and more convenient access to GP services. It is for primary care trusts to develop models of primary care and community services that focus more strongly on promoting health, preventing illness and managing long-term conditions. PCTs may therefore chose to commission a wider range of responsive services that reflect local health need and maximise integration with other services such as diagnostics, dentistry, pharmacy and social care.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans his Department has made for the training of additional GPs to staff the new GP-led health centres. (220999)

The Department has worked with strategic health authorities (SHAs) and the general practitioners (GP) postgraduate deans to expand GP training to ensure that there are sufficient training places to meet expected future demand. Since 1997 there has been an 85.4 per cent. increase in the number of GP registrars, qualified doctors in training for general practice, with 2,337 GP registrar posts being recruited to this year. The total number of doctors in training in the NHS has grown annually over the last 10 years at an average of 4.4 per cent. a year.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health when a patient in treated in a GP-led health centre without being registered there, whether funding will be transferred from the GP where the patient is registered to the health centre to cover the cost of treatment. (221017)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether primary care trusts that do not open a new GP-led health centre will receive the money they would have otherwise received within their allocations to fund the centre. (221233)

The “NHS Operating Framework 2008-09” set out the Department's expectation that all primary care trusts (PCTs) will secure a new general practitioner led health centre using their share of the new and additional £250 million access fund and all PCTs are currently planning to deliver these extra services.