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article imageSupermarket offers free space for doctors to see patients

By Lynn Curwin     Nov 25, 2010 in Health
It will soon be possible for people to combine shopping and seeing a doctor in many Sainsbury’s stores. The UK supermarket is offering free space for GPs to set up in 204 stores.
Pulse reported that next week the company will begin a recruitment drive to find GPs ready to take up its offer of free premises.
Sainsbury’s tested the idea with a pilot project in Heaton Park, Manchester, run by Dr Mohammed Jiva, who will now travel across the country to promote the idea.
“Sainsbury’s are essentially knocking down their current pharmacy rooms and rebuilding them to accommodate larger services which will be suitable for GPs,’ he told Pulse. “In total there are 204 stores that could be suitable.
“There will be no rent, no overheads to pay. The GPs that use these branches will get to keep their NHS revenue and their private revenue and Sainsbury’s will gain in the extra footfall.”
He said this is a great opportunity for practices to obtain another venue and learn additional management skills at no cost.
The retailer hopes to open at least 40 branches by April 2012.
“Recognising the tough economic climate and demand from customers who tell us that they are keen to see more GP services offered in store, Sainsbury’s has decided to provide the usage of its consultation rooms to local GP practices without charge,” said David Gilder, professional services manager for the supermarket chain.
“Sainsbury’s will provide further support with in-store marketing aimed at shoppers to promote healthcare services offered and also support GPs in their efforts to deliver the local public health agenda.”
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