Community nursing in systems reform: the London polyclinic experience

Br J Community Nurs. 2011 Jun;16(6):293-7. doi: 10.12968/bjcn.2011.16.6.293.


Internationally, the polyclinic has been a feature of many health systems. The recent UK policy shift towards enhanced coordination of care closer to home resulted in the development of polyclinics, most notably in London. This article explores the background to the development of polyclinics and draws on the early experience of developments in London to explore what their impact has been, and is likely to be, on community nursing. Emerging findings from an evaluation of four pilot polyclinics suggests that rather than one model, polyclinics evolved in distinctively different ways more appropriately labelled as polysystems. Although policy makers clearly identified community nursing as being one of the key components of integrated, community-based care, the evaluation suggests a focus on high-level organizational restructuring and system change can shift attention from what many would consider core activities such as community health services.

MeSH terms

  • Ambulatory Care Facilities*
  • Community Health Nursing*
  • Community Health Services
  • Health Care Reform*
  • Humans
  • London
  • Primary Health Care*
  • State Medicine
  • United Kingdom