Contracts signed to boost Manchester GP services

Posted on April 20, 2009. Filed under: GP-led health centres, News stories, Press/News Releases, Providers |

NHS Manchester | Press Release | April 2009

NHS Manchester has announced it has signed contracts for a new GP surgery and a new GP-led health centre to open in the city later this year – and confirmed revised plans for a further two new GP services.

A contract has now been signed for a new practice to open at Simpson Memorial Hall in Moston this summer. Meanwhile a separate contract has been agreed for a new GP-led health centre, which will be based in the city centre and be open both to patients who register there and those who choose to use it on a ‘walk-in’ basis.

Both contracts have been awarded to the not-for-profit company GO To DOC Ltd, which was chosen following two separate tendering processes.

The contracts are part of a wider package that will see a total of four new GP services established in the city. It represents a multi-million pound investment in GPs and primary care services which will bring more health professionals to the area and make thousands more appointments available to residents.

Laura Roberts, Chief Executive of NHS Manchester, said: “This is a big step towards launching new GP services in the city centre and Moston later in the year.

“Together with our plans for new GP services in Longsight and Levenshulme, this expansion of local healthcare reflects our aim to make the NHS more accessible.

“By providing more GPs and more places to access them, we will improve the ability of the NHS to detect and treat illness as quickly as possible.

”Feedback from patients in Manchester shows they find it harder to get a doctor’s appointment than those in most other parts of the country. Meanwhile residents have among the poorest health anywhere in England, so we really need to make sure people can get help from the NHS when they need it.”

Brian Lewis, Chairman of GO To DOC Ltd, said: “We are looking forward to working with the local community and NHS Manchester to improve health through the delivery of new GP services in Manchester, building on our experience in delivering primary care across Greater Manchester.”

In addition to the two contracts that have been awarded, NHS Manchester is continuing work to establish a further two new GP services in Levenshulme and Longsight. Contracts for these services have not been awarded following recent tendering processes and further work is underway to get both up and running.

Laura Roberts, Chief Executive of NHS Manchester, explains: “We’ve yet to sign contracts for the services in either Levenshulme or Longsight. However these services will become an important part of their local communities so it is worth taking time now to make sure they are right.”

Negotiations are beginning with organisations that previously bid to run the Longsight service, with the possibility one will be chosen to run the new service within the next few months.

For Levenshulme it has been agreed that further discussion will take place with local communities about the type of service to be delivered before a fresh tendering process is launched.

Laura Roberts adds: “We’ve had useful discussions with local GPs about how we might be able to adapt the new Levenshulme service to offer maximum benefit to patients.

“This could mean offering a practice with a smaller list of registered patients than previously proposed, while adding a walk-in service alongside it to allow local people to be treated without needing to register or book an appointment first.”

NHS Manchester is seeking further feedback on the proposals for the new services in Levenshulme and Longsight, and will be writing to people in the area to encourage comments.

Meanwhile it has been confirmed that the Levenshulme service will no longer be based at the original proposed site on Slade Lane and alternative locations are being sought.

The Moston practice will be at Simpson Memorial Hall on Moston Lane while discussions are underway about sites for the Longsight and city centre services.

Controversial APMS tender halted after bidder pulls out

Pulse | By Gareth Iacobucci | 11 March 2009

An APMS tender at the centre of a storm of protest from GPs and patients has been set back by months after the preferred bidder pulled out.

Manchester PCT will now re-tender two contracts for GP practices under Lord Darzi’s equitable access scheme following the last-minute pullout.

One of the tenders is for a practice in Levenshulme – where GPs and patient groups have staged vociferous anti-privatisation protests against the rollout.

The PCT is refusing to reveal the identity of the bidder, but GPs believe it may have been a private provider, and are hailing the pullout as a victory for their campaign.

Pulse last week reported on similar protests in Lewisham, south-east London, where GPs joined forces with patients to rail against plans to put a GP-led health centre in the same building as four existing practices.

In Manchester, both the Levenshulme practice and a separate development at Longsight are now expected to open in December 2009, months behind the original timescale.

Dr Kailash Chand, a GPC member and a GP in Ashton-under-Lyne, Lancashire – who spoke at a public meeting against the plans in November – said the pullout vindicated the protests, even if they may not have been the sole reason for the withdrawal.

He said: ‘If you really work hard, these things can happen. It could also be the economic climate. You can’t make a quick buck any more.’

Dr Peter Fink, secretary of Manchester LMC, said the ‘massive furore’ from local pressure groups and GPs would have been noted by bidders. ‘That could have had an impact,’ he said.

A spokesperson for NHS Manchester refused to confirm which bidder had pulled out, but said: ‘Discussions are under way about the next steps.’

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