Archive for August, 2011

PCT holds consultation on closing GP practices

Posted on August 31, 2011. Filed under: Closure, GP-led health centres |

PCT holds consultation on closing GP practices | GPonline.com.

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Exclusive: Darzi centre paid 7 times more per patient than GP practices

Posted on August 31, 2011. Filed under: GP-led health centres |

Exclusive: Darzi centre paid 7 times more per patient than GP practices | GPonline.com.

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Private firms snap up PCT-run GP practices

Posted on August 24, 2011. Filed under: Uncategorized |

Exclusive Private companies are taking advantage of the scheduled closure of PCTs to snap up a series of GP practices previously run by trusts and increase the proportion of primary care they run to record levels.

Firms are to take over the contracts of seven GP practices formerly run by PCTs after they were put out to tender over the last year, as trusts wind down and prepare to hand over to clinical commissioning groups.

Pulse revealed last week that 41 practices in England have either been retendered under APMS or are due to be, and at least two are due to close, while only six have been converted to GMS or PMS.

Now an analysis of the tendering process suggests it will drive up the proportion of practices run by the private sector, with companies dominating the award of contracts. Click here to look at a map of those practices.

A total of 11 practices previously run under PCTMS have gone through APMS tenders over the past year, with seven going to the private sector, four to the acute sector and just one to local GPs. Assura has taken over two practices in Northamptonshire and one in south-west Essex. The Practice has taken over a practice in mid-Essex, and One Medicare won tenders to run two practices in Bradford.

Latest NHS Information Centre figures show the number of APMS contracts increased from 173 in 2009 to 262 in 2010, partly through the rollout of Darzi centres, with around a quarter of equitable access contracts going to private firms.

Our analysis examined 71 practices run under PCTMS – of 84 listed by the NHS Information Centre.

Two practices, the Globe Surgery in south-east Essex and the Manzoori Clinic in west Kent, are due to close, with their patients distributed among neighbouring practices.

Consultations are being run on the future of eight practices – three in Lincolnshire, two in east Lancashire and three in the North East. Six practices have reverted to GMS or PMS contracts, 11 have been transferred to social enterprises and 41 have been retendered or are due to be.

Dr Nigel Watson, a GP in the New Forest and chair of the GPC’s commissioning and service development subcommittee, said: ‘If you go to procurement, inevitably big companies benefit. There remains concern about whether contracts are just given to the lowest bidder.’

Dr Louise Irvine, a GP in Lewisham, south-east London, said the news was of ‘great concern’: ‘It advances the damaging commercialisation begun under the last government. Commercial practices typically have a high turnover of doctors, undermining continuity.’

Dr Mark Stott, a GP in Westcliff-on-Sea, Essex, said: ‘We’re a practice for vulnerable patients. The plan is to force these people into surrounding practices. I’m sure it will have an adverse impact upon their care.’

A Department of Health spokesperson said PCT-run practices would have to be retendered, but there was no directive to close them.

CLICK HERE TO VIEW A MAP OF THE PRACTICES AFFECTED

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Flagship Darzi centre faces closure

Posted on August 23, 2011. Filed under: GP-led health centres |

The flagship Darzi centre hailed by former health secretary Alan Johnson as ‘the future of general practice’ is set to have its opening hours drastically cut and could even face closure after a PCT admitted it was too expensive to continue running in its current form.

The Hillside Bridge Health centre in Bradford was the first of Lord Ara Darzi’s controversial 8am until 8pm GP-led health centres to open as part of the then Labour Government’s nationwide rollout back in December 2008.

But NHS Bradford and Airedale is now consulting on the future of the centre after it found that the majority of patients using it were already registered elsewhere, creating an expensive duplication of services.

The PCT revealed some patients were even using the service for a second opinion, after they have already seen their own GP, and admitted there was ‘no evidence that people’s overall health has improved as a result of using the walk-in service’.

A consultation which concludes at the end of August is asking patients for their views on the future of the centre.

It reads: ‘What we have found is that most patients who are using Hillside Bridge GP-led Health Centre are already registered with another local GP in the area.’

‘Some are using the service because they say they cannot get appointments with their own GP. Some are even using the service because they want a second opinion, after they have already seen their own GP.’

The consultation paper urges patients to see their own GP rather than use the centre. It says: ‘We believe that the most appropriate service for patients to use, when they have a minor illness, is their own GP.’

‘Your own GP has your medical records available to them, and they know you and your health better.’

‘Your own GP is also contracted to provide urgent care, if you should need it, from 8am to 6.30pm on weekdays. But the high number of people using Hillside Bridge, who already have a GP, means we are effectively double paying for this service.

It suggests reducing the opening hours for non-registered patients to 12:00pm – 8:00pm seven days a week or 2:00pm – 8:00pm seven days a week.

The trust said any changes to opening hours would be an interim measure, and pledged to review the service in six months time, and subsequently carry out a wider public consultation to assess the viability of all urgent care services in the area.

It said many more users than expected were using the service, but it was not providing value for money. It added: ‘Unfortunately the service is rarely being used by the most socially excluded members of the community and there is no evidence that people’s overall health has improved as a result of using the walk-in service.’

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Planning approval secured for new health centre in Knowsley

Posted on August 12, 2011. Filed under: GP-led health centres |

Knowsley Council 

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Hillside Bridge GP-led Health Centre Consultation

Posted on August 8, 2011. Filed under: GP-led health centres |

Bradford & District Community Empowerment Network | 8 Aug 2011

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Protected: Wirral GP-led health centre

Posted on August 1, 2011. Filed under: GP-led health centres |

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