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More than 1,000 attend new London polyclinic in first four weeks

A new polyclinic in Harrow has attracted more than 1,000 people in its first four weeks, according to Healthcare for London.

Located in one of Harrow's most deprived wards, the Alexandra Avenue clinic in west London is among the capital's first polyclinics. The first seven polyclinics opened their doors across London in April 2009.

All 31 of London's PCTs are developing plans for local polyclinics to be introduced in every borough over the next five years.

At the official opening of the polyclinic on Monday (22 June 2009), Health Minister Lord Darzi (pictured, with Dr Gillian Schiller (centre), Chairman of Harrow PCT, and Dr Sarah Crowther, CEO of Harrow PCT) described the local response to the polyclinic as "overwhelming".

He said: "Polyclinics such as this one in Harrow are helping tackle two of the biggest problems in the capital: namely patients finding it difficult to get a GP appointment and people turning up at A&E when they should be seeing their family doctor."

The Alexandra Avenue centre transformed its services to qualify as a polyclinic. It now offers bookable GP appointments and a walk-in service between 8am–8pm, seven days a week. More than 300 people visited the polyclinic on weekends or bank holidays during the clinic's first month of operation.

The polyclinic offers a host of new services including minor surgery, blood tests and a prescription drop-off and medication review service. New services to help residents live healthily, including weight management and stop-smoking services, have also been introduced.

Dr David Lloyd, a GP from the Ridgeway Surgery, which provides services at the Alexandra Avenue polyclinic said: "We thought we knew what our patients wanted and always tried to make sure we were accessible.

"However, the one comment we hear from people in the polyclinic over and over again is how much better it is to be able to see a GP or a nurse at a time that suits them and their hectic lives rather than the health service."

Healthcare for London