Press/News Releases

New 8am – 8pm Health Centre and Walk-in Centre opens in the City Centre

Posted on February 3, 2010. Filed under: GP-led health centres, Press/News Releases, Providers | Tags: |

NHS Nottingham City | Press Release | accessed 3 January 2010

Nottingham patients can now benefit from a new health and walk-in centre on Upper Parliament Street in the City Centre.

This is the first of the NHS Nottingham City primary care facilities to open as part of the Equitable Access to Primary Medical Care programme. The new services are being introduced in response to Government minister Lord Darzi’s Our NHS, our future review which called for improved access to GPs.

The service has been commissioned by NHS Nottingham City and will be provided by NEMS Healthcare Ltd.  It is open 8am – 8pm every day including weekends. The Health Centre will offer a range of walk in services such as assessment and treatment of minor illnesses and injuries, along with healthy living advice and information. It will be open to everyone who lives or works in the City, and to people who are just visiting. In addition, people who live within the Nottingham City Council area have the option of registering with the health centre as their GP practice.

The 8am – 8pm Health Centre can be contacted on 0115 883 1960.

Peter May, Executive Director at NEMS Healthcare said: “The Health Centre is open to everyone on a walk-in basis and our team will provide you with a friendly, caring and professional service. Our team is made up of local healthcare professionals, including health care assistants, health advisers, nurses and GPs. Together, we are aiming to help people in Nottingham to improve their health and well-being by being available for extended hours in an easy to reach location within the City Centre.  If you are troubled by a minor illness or injury, you can just walk in and speak to our reception team who will arrange for you to be seen by the person best able to meet your needs. Our walk-in services include emergency contraception and healthy living advice. You do not have to be registered with the Health Centre to use our services. However, if you live within the Nottingham City Council boundary you may like to talk to us about the benefits of registering and making the Health Centre your GP practice.”

Katherine Thackeray, Assistant Director of Primary Care Services at NHS Nottingham City said: “The new health centre will provide a great additional healthcare facility.  It is an excellent addition to the range of services we have to help with urgent health care needs and take the pressure off other services such as the Emergency Department.

“We are committed to improving access and offering greater choice of primary care health services to help us deliver our aim of an end to health inequalities in our City.”

For more information about where to access health services, see NHS Nottingham City’s website ‘Get the right care, first time’ at

–          Ends –

Notes to editors

Update on the Equitable Access to Primary Care Programme

The Equitable Access programme launched by Lord Darzi committed the NHS to establish 150 new GP led health centres and 100 new GP practices across the country in areas with the greatest need.   Nottingham City has committed to opening a City Centre GP-led health centre and 3 new GP practices.

For further information or interviews, please contact:

Joanne Powell, Senior Communications and Marketing Manager
Phone: 0115 912 3384

Fax: 0115 912 3302


Visit the website at

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Harmoni merger with Thamesdoc

Posted on January 27, 2010. Filed under: GP-led health centres, Press/News Releases, Providers | Tags: , , , |

Harmoni website | accessed 27 January 2010

Harmoni is delighted to announce that Thamesdoc GPs have voted unanimously in favour of their Board’s recommended merger with Harmoni.

Stephen Price, Chief Executive of Thamesdoc, said “The recent Care Quality Commission interim report highlights the importance of delivering a high quality service where patient care and patient experience are the top priority. We believe that this adds further weight to the move for Out of Hours providers to consolidate in order to have the scale to deliver the best patient care. Thamesdoc and Harmoni are a natural fit. We share common roots as GP based Co-Operatives, have a good fit culturally and are geographically adjacent. I am confident that this merger will enhance the ability of both organisations to deliver high quality care to the populations we serve”.

Andrew Gardner, Harmoni’s Chief Executive, said “This merger reinforces Harmoni’s position as the market leader in the provision of Urgent Care services in England, and further enhances our ability to invest in the people, infrastructure, systems and processes required to provide the best possible patient care. We will set up a new Region based on the South East Coast Strategic Health Authority geography made up of the two companies existing services in Surrey and West Sussex and targeting the new opportunities that are emerging across the rest of the SHA. We will retain the Thamesdoc brand in Surrey where it is well respected and continue to use the Harmoni brand elsewhere.””

Harmoni is a leading provider of primary care services to more than 6 million patients across England. Its services are commissioned by over 20 NHS PCTs and include Out of Hours services, GP led Health Centres, Urgent Care Centres, Single Points of Access and Admission Avoidance schemes.

Thamesdoc is a GP co-operative providing Out of Hours and other urgent care services to patients in Surrey and parts of West Sussex and Hampshire.

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Harness Harrow GP-led Health Centre Opens in Edgware

Posted on January 27, 2010. Filed under: GP-led health centres, Press/News Releases |

NHS Harrow | News Release

Harness Harrow GP-led Health Centre, opens at 46 South Parade, Mollison Way, Edgware, HA8 5QL, on 11th January, and will be open 8am to 8pm, 365 days a year. The centre will have two GPs at all times, with seven GPs employed in all. Registered patients will be able to book appointments in advance or on the day, whilst they and unregistered patients will have the option of walking in without making an appointment. The new service will provide patients with more consultation time with GPs and nurses, as well as ECG scans and blood testing on site.

Dr Sarah Crowther, chief executive of NHS Harrow, said the centre would be part of a redeveloped health system in East Harrow: “I am delighted that the Harness Harrow GP-led Health Centre is open – it’s a centre that will provide more services than ever before in East Harrow, and it is shaped around the needs of local people. The idea that you can get a blood test or a scan at your local surgery is something we are keen to roll out across the borough to make life easier for Harrow residents. We would like this centre to be part of a wider polysystem in East Harrow, which will mean that everyone in the area could be sent to local centres by their GPs when they needs tests or scans rather than going to the hospital.”

The new centre has been welcomed by local councillors too, with Overview and Scrutiny Committee Chairman Cllr Stanley Sheinwald praising the decision to keep the surgery open: “When NHS Harrow first consulted with the Scrutiny Committee, we ensured we were given all the facts and we were very thorough in our recommendations. We made it clear to NHS Harrow that the preferred option for Queensbury residents would be to keep the Mollison Way Surgery open, and after due consideration, this has been achieved.”

Cllr Dinesh Solanki, whose Queensbury ward will be served by the Mollison Way Surgery, said: “We felt that NHS Harrow was very receptive to the concerns that we had heard from our residents and every avenue was explored before a decision was reached.”

He added: “I am very pleased with the results –we now have a practice that will be open from 8am to 8pm, seven days a week and will serve local residents better than ever. It is a particularly positive result for older residents and people with long-term conditions, as it brings more services closer to where people live.”

“Over the last 18 months, the Scrutiny Committee has worked really hard with the PCT on bringing this to fruition. We have also worked together on securing the specialist stroke and major trauma unit for Northwick Park Hospital, due to open in April 2010, and it’s great to see the that our hard work is paying off for local people and will make a lasting difference. We are proving that an open and honest partnership between NHS Harrow and Harrow Council brings the best results for all our residents.”

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Provider chosen for new GP Led Health Centre and Walk in service

Posted on January 20, 2010. Filed under: GP-led health centres, Press/News Releases | Tags: , |

NHS Lewisham

NHS Lewisham (Lewisham Primary Care Trust) is delighted to announce that the Hurley Group has been selected as the preferred provider to deliver primary care services for the new GP Led Health Centre and Walk in service at the Waldron Health centre, Amersham Vale, SE14 6LD.

The Hurley Group have an excellent track record in delivering high quality GP led, patient centred healthcare for the NHS. They currently run one of the first GP led Walk in Centres that opened in London, based at the Lister Health Centre in Southwark and have successfully delivered services in a number of challenging South London environments.

Situated directly opposite New Cross railway station just off New Cross Road, the GP led Health Centre will deliver services to patients whether they are registered or non-registered (walk in) at the Centre.

The new service will improve access to healthcare in the area, offering extended opening hours and access to a GP between 8am to 8pm, seven days a week, 365 days of the year. It will offer bookable and non-bookable (open access or walk-in) appointments. The new service is expected to open in March 2010, when the existing nurse led walk-in centre at Goodwood Road moves to the purpose built primary care centre at the Waldron and services transfer.

The additional enhanced service offered by the GP led Health Centre complements the existing services provided by the 4 Doctors surgeries currently in the Waldron Health Centre. This will improve access to local people, walk-in patients and commuters. The Waldron Health Centre already houses a wide range of services under one roof including midwives, phlebotomy, foot health clinics, sexual and reproductive health, speech & language therapy, and services such as child health clinics. Pharmacy and optician services will also be provided in the near future.

The Health Centre and Walk in service development is part a national programme for Equitable Access, supported by the Department of Health, in response to public consultations (where access was a significant issue for a large number of patients). In addition NHS Lewisham have broader plans to develop the Waldron Health Centre by providing a range of services often associated more closely with hospital care. This is part of their drive to deliver care closer to home, improve health and well being and reduce health inequalities.

The Hurley Group is delighted to have been awarded preferred provider status. Dr Mark Ashworth, Organisational Medical Director, said:

“This represents a milestone for the Hurley group – we can combine our clinical knowledge, with our experience of delivering high quality care, in a state of the art purpose built facility. We are extremely pleased to have been selected to run the GP Led Health Centre in Lewisham especially as this is an area where we feel we can contribute to the wider local community.”

Who to contact about this article
Name: Matt Adcock
Telephone: 020 7206 3333
Fax: 020 7206 3338
Organisation: NHS Lewisham
Address: Cantilever House, SE12 8RN

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New Hook services to include GP led health centre

Posted on January 19, 2010. Filed under: GP-led health centres, Press/News Releases, Providers | Tags: |

NHS Kingston | Press Release | 19 January 2010

NHS Kingston has announced the preferred location of a new GP led health centre which will open later this year in Gosbury Hill, Hook.

The centre – the first of its kind in Kingston – will offer a range of walk-in services and appointments to both registered and non-registered patients.

The GP led health centre will operate in addition to Grays Medical Practice and Orchard Practice, which are already based on the site.

David Smith, chief executive for NHS Kingston, said: “It’s good news that a venue for the GP led centre has been found which will provide additional health services for local residents including walk-in services and longer opening hours.

“Patients who currently use the two GP practices on the same site can continue to have a relationship with their existing GPs – the new service is about providing additional health services for a wider patient group.”

At the end of last year, following an open tendering process, the Grays Medical Practice was appointed as the preferred bidder to buy the Gosbury Hill site and to develop new premises for both its own practice and the neighbouring Orchard Practice which occupies the same building.

The Grays Medical Practice will be leading the development of the premises which will include the new GP led centre. Malling Health will be contracted by NHS Kingston to run the GP led health centre and provide a high standard of service for local people.

Dr John Gray, from Grays Medical Practice, said: “We’re delighted to have the opportunity to take the Gosbury Hill site into the new decade for the benefit of all local residents. We’ll be using our expertise on local health needs to lead the development of the new premises.

Working with Malling Health and the neighbouring Orchard Practice, we’ll ensure there continues to be a high standard of health service for local residents.”

Plans are being developed for state-of-the-art premises that will be lighter, more spacious and enable the practices to benefit from the latest technological developments. A planning application is expected within the first few months of this year.

It is anticipated that walk-in services will be available at Gosbury Hill without impacting on current GP services. This will be achieved by some internal reorganisation of the building which is expected to be completed in April 2010.

In the longer term, the site will also provide additional health services for the local community as part of NHS Kingston’s ongoing polysystems programme bringing more services closer to home.

Notes to editors

What is a GP Led Health Centre?

In October 2007, Lord Darzi published the interim report of the NHS Next Stage Review (England only), which announced a number of immediate recommendations, including the establishment of 1 new GP-led health centre per PCT.

The GP Led Health Centre will be a new service that will offer GP and Nurse Appointments.

The centre will offer a full range of medical services to all registered and non registered patients offering pre-bookable appointments, walk-in services and other co-located services.

For more information on NHS Kingston’s polysystems programme go to

For more information contact Sarah Campion, NHS Kingston communications team; tel:020
8339 8086, email:

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Increased GP services for north Birmingham residents step closer

Posted on January 18, 2010. Filed under: GP-led health centres, Press/News Releases, Providers | Tags: |

Assura Group | Press Release | 18 January 2010

A new GP practice is set to open in north Birmingham following a contract award by NHS Birmingham East and North.

Operated by Assura Vertis LLP, the practice will be based at the Warren Farm Health Centre and will work with its local community to develop an increased range of health facilities relevant to the needs of the local population.

The practice will offer increased choice to local patients as well as extended opening hours by opening until 8pm two evenings a week and on Saturday mornings.

The contract was awarded as part of the Government’s national Equitable Access to Primary Medical Care (EAPMC) services programme which was designed to increase access to GPs in communities that have traditionally experienced greater levels of ill health and have access to a lower number of GPs than other areas.

Under the scheme NHS Birmingham East and North has been allocated extra funding to commission new GP practices and a new GP-led health centre. Following a detailed tender process, work on a new practice for Kingstanding was given the green light when the GPs came in to sign contracts with the trust.

Dr Ian Morrey, a local GP and chair of Assura Vertis, said: “Assura Vertis is pleased to have this opportunity to work with NHS Birmingham East and North to provide this additional access to a GP or nurse for the local community. We look forward to providing the patients of Kingstanding with high quality, easy and convenient access to a GP or nurse, when they need it.”

Director of resources for Birmingham East and North, Jonathan Tringham said: “I am delighted that we are working in partnership to produce a brand new GP practice with high quality services for patients. We have taken into account what our patients wanted from a GP practice and have incorporated views put forward through the public consultation.”


Press enquiries regarding Assura Group to:

Andrew McKeon, AJM Public Relations.
Tel: 01423 734 560; Mobile: 07802 484 155

Louise Bathersby, Assura Group.
Tel: 020 7107 3830

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Brand new health centre opens its doors to first patient

Posted on January 12, 2010. Filed under: LIFT, Press/News Releases | Tags: |

NHS Southampton City | News release | 12 January 2010

The brand new Adelaide Health Centre in the west of Southampton, which will provide the people of Southampton with easy access to a range of NHS services in one convenient location, saw its first patient walk through the doors today (Tuesday 12 January 2010).

Southampton Community Healthcare facilitated moving a number of services into the purpose-built health centre in Millbrook including:

  • Podiatry
  • Cardiac
  • Leg Ulcer
  • Physiotherapy
  • Musculoskeletal
  • Community Neurological Rehabilitation
  • Health Visiting
  • Long-term conditions

8am to 8pm, 7 days a week

The Health Centre also houses the new Adelaide GP Surgery which is open 8am to 8pm, 7 days a week (excluding bank holidays) and offers registered patients GP appointments every day as well as a walk-in service.

The design and building of the Adelaide Health Centre was co-ordinated by South West Hampshire Local Improvement Finance Trust (SWHL) with the aim of delivering better access to extended services from better buildings and closer to home. With this objective in mind, Adelaide Health Centre is conveniently located on the Western Community Hospital campus in Millbrook, with disabled access and patient parking available on site.

The centre’s first patient John Merry arrived promptly at 8.15am this morning to register as a patient with the Adelaide GP Surgery.


He said: ‘The Adelaide Health Centre looks like a very nice building and I love the coffee bar. I’m about a mile and a half away so it’s quite convenient. The extended hours are useful and it’s possible I may make use of them to fit in with hospital appointments.”

Joint Managing Director of Southampton Community Healthcare, Dave Meehan, said: “We are delighted to be able to provide the people of Southampton with easily accessible NHS services with extended opening hours in a convenient location. The Adelaide Health Centre provides staff with a modern, spacious environment in which they can continue to deliver an excellent level of care to patients. Patients can enjoy the new building and its convenient location on the Western Community Hospital Campus. The multiple services under one roof are ideal for patients who require a wide-range of healthcare treatments and there is the added bonus of a GP surgery too.”

Chief Executive of NHS Southampton City, Bob Deans, said: “The new Adelaide Health Centre is an exciting new state-of-the-art building for patients and home to a wide range of NHS services. This one-stop-shop feature will mean that those patients who require a wide-range of healthcare treatments will be able to receive excellent care in one, easy to access location. NHS Southampton City is committed to ensuring that healthcare in Southampton meets the real needs of our people, and the opening of the Adelaide Health Centre is a key development in improving the health of patients and the City as a whole.”


Notes for Editors:

  • Attached with this press release is an image of the Adelaide Health Centre’s first patient with staff from the Adelaide GP Surgery.
  • NHS Southampton City is responsible for investing in health and care services to effectively meet the needs of the City’s population. For more information, please go to NHS Southampton City now has a Twitter page – sign up today for the latest information at
  • The Adelaide Health Centre was built under the Government’s Local Improvement Finance Trust (LIFT) scheme by South West Hampshire LIFT Limited, a public private partnership which is owned by NHS Southampton City, NHS Hampshire, Community Health Partnerships and a consortium of companies led by leading health provider Assura. LIFT is a Government vehicle for improving and developing frontline primary and community care facilities. It allows PCTs to invest in new premises in new locations, not merely reproduce existing types of services. It provides patients with modern, integrated health services in high quality, fit for purpose primary care premises. South West Hampshire LIFT Limited is the LIFT Co for the South West Hampshire LIFT area. It is a public private partnership made up of the following constituents: Hampshire and Southampton City PCTs (20%), Community Health Partnerships (Department of Health: 20%) and a private sector consortium (Assura 54%, Geoffrey Osbourne 6%). Please visit the website at:
  • An official opening of the Adelaide Health Centre will take place later this year at which point a press release will be sent to the media.
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GP practice to open its doors to 6,000 Southampton patients next week

Posted on January 10, 2010. Filed under: Press/News Releases, Providers | Tags: |

Southampton Community Healthcare | accessed 10 January 2010

It will be even easier for people in Southampton to access their GP with the opening of the new Adelaide GP Surgery next week (Tuesday 12 January 2010).

Based at the brand new Adelaide Health Centre, which is also home to a range of NHS services, the surgery will offer extended opening hours of 8am to 8pm, seven days week, excluding bank holidays.

With both male and female doctors, the Adelaide GP Surgery will provide the same care offered by a traditional GP practice including flu jabs, blood tests, health promotion services, whilst also being located in the same building as a number of important NHS services. Patients who register with the surgery will be able to see a doctor every day by appointment, and will have the added benefit of being able to walk-in to see an experienced nurse without an appointment between 8am and 8pm.

Dave Meehan, Managing Director, at Southampton Community Healthcare said: “These are exciting times. We are proud to be providing people in Southampton with the opportunity to register with a brand new GP Surgery with the added benefit of a walk-in service for registered patients. The new Surgery, which will have capacity for 6,000 patients, will make it even easier for people to see a GP and other healthcare professionals.”

Lead GP, Dr Mike Brooke who has been a practicing GP in Southampton since 1988 and who was previously based at Atherley House Surgery, said: “The new facilities are good news for people living in the West of Southampton. The staff at the surgery are looking forward to providing patients with high-quality care in a modern and purpose built health setting. We look forward to welcoming the first patients to the new Surgery.”

Bob Deans, Chief Executive, NHS Southampton City, welcomed the opening, saying: “The Adelaide GP Surgery will be a fantastic addition to the NHS services available in Southampton and I am delighted it will officially open to the public next week. The 8am to 8pm opening times will offer improved access and join the majority of practices in Southampton now offering greater flexibility to Southampton patients through extended hours.”

Bob Deans continued: “The new surgery has the added benefit of offering a walk-in service for registered patients, and is based within a state-of-the-art building which is home to a wide range of NHS services. This one-stop-shop feature will mean that those patients who require a wide-range of healthcare treatments will be able to receive excellent care in one, easy to access location. NHS Southampton City is committed to ensuring that healthcare in Southampton meets the real needs of our people, and the opening of the Adelaide GP Surgery is a key development in improving the health of patients and the City as a whole.”

Patients who wish to register with the Surgery, which is based at the Adelaide Health Centre on the Western Community Hospital site, should ring 0300 123 6066 or visit the Surgery from Tuesday 12 January.


Notes for Editors:

  • Media opportunity: Media are invited to attend the surgery on 12 January 2010 between 10am and 11am for interviews and photo opportunities. Please contact Andrea Musk on 023 8060 8935 to confirm attendance.
  • Attached with this press release are images of the Adelaide Health Centre and the new GP surgery. More images are available on request.
  • Other NHS services available at the Adelaide Health Centre include:
  • PodiatryServices
  • Leg Ulcer and Tissue Viability
  • Physiotherapy
  • Specialist Services
  • Community Neurological Rehabilitation Team
  • Health Visitors
  • An official opening of the surgery will take place later in the year, for which a future media release will be circulated.
  • NHS Southampton City is responsible for investing in health and care services to effectively meet the needs of the City’s population. For more information, please go to
  • NHS Southampton City now has a Twitter page – sign up today for the latest information
  • The Adelaide Health Centre was built under the Government’s Local Improvement Finance Trust (LIFT) scheme by South West Hampshire LIFT Limited, a public private partnership which is owned by NHS Southampton City, NHS Hampshire, Community Health Partnerships and a consortium of companies led by leading health provider Assura. LIFT is a Government vehicle for improving and developing frontline primary and community care facilities. It allows PCTs to invest in new premises in new locations, not merely reproduce existing types of services. It provides patients with modern, integrated health services in high quality, fit for purpose primary care premises. South West Hampshire LIFT Limited is the LIFTCo for the South West Hampshire LIFT area. It is a public private partnership made up of the following constituents: Hampshire and Southampton City PCTs (20%), Community Health Partnerships (Department of Health: 20%) and a private sector consortium (Assura 54%, Geoffrey Osbourne 6%). Please visit the website at:

For more information please contact Andrea Musk, Communications Manager, Southampton Community Healthcare on 023 8060 8935.

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Mersey View Surgery & GP Led Walk-in Service

Posted on January 4, 2010. Filed under: GP-led health centres, Press/News Releases, Providers | Tags: , |

Care UK | accessed 4 January 2010


Mersey View Surgery & GP Led Walk-in Service is a facility commissioned by NHS Liverpool Primary Care Trust. The centre, operated by Care UK, a leading independent provider of health and social care services, is located within Everton Road Health Centre, 45 Everton Road, Liverpool.

The centre is open every day from 8am-8pm and offers a range of comprehensive services to registered patients and a walk-in service for the treatment of minor injuries and illnesses, without having to make an appointment.

Mersey View Surgery & GP Led Walk-in Service
45 Everton Road, L6 2EH.

Manager: Sue Hagan
Telephone: 0151 300 8232
Fax: 0151 263 7006

View Website

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NHS South Gloucestershire

Posted on December 30, 2009. Filed under: GP-led health centres, Press/News Releases | Tags: |

GPs over festive season | accessed December 2009

GP out of hours services

Frendoc and Brisdoc are the out of hours GP services that operate from 6.30pm- 8am Monday-Friday, all weekends and bank holidays. This service is provided by GPs and nurses who can offer telephone advice, face-to-face consultations, or home visits for patients who are housebound. This service is available for treating conditions that cannot wait until your GP surgery reopens. Ring your usual surgery where you will be given instructions or diverted to the out of hours service, or ring NHS Direct on 0845 4647.

GP led health centre

The GP led health centre in Kingswood is open from 8am to 8pm 7 days per week including bank holidays. You do not need to be registered at the health centre – you can use the services offered at the centre as well as your GP surgery. You can use the centre by walking in or phoning to make an appointment.

The Orchard Medical Centre
Macdonald Walk
Tel. 0117 9805100

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New Health and Wellbeing Centre to Open

Posted on December 22, 2009. Filed under: GP-led health centres, News stories, Press/News Releases, Providers | Tags: |

NHS Stoke-on-Trent | 22 December 2009

Hanley Health and Wellbeing Centre, located at 69/71 Stafford Street, will open to the public on New Year’s Eve December 31st.

A new health and wellbeing centre will open in Hanley, where people can get an appointment 8am – 8pm, seven days a week, 365 days a year – and they don’t have to be registered.

Graham Urwin, Chief Executive, NHS Stoke on Trent will be shown around the new Centre on Wednesday 30th, the day before it opens its doors and as well as chatting with the staff, he will have an opportunity to see for himself how the Hanley Health and Wellbeing Centre will operate.

Hanley Health and Wellbeing Centre, located at 69/71 Stafford Street, will open to the public on New Year’s Eve December 31st, offering a full range of GP and nurse led appointments to anyone who wishes to use it, whether they are registered with a GP there or not.

The centre, which is opposite the Stafford Street entrance to The Potteries Shopping Centre, will offer anyone medical advice and consultation without the need to register with a GP at the centre and without an appointment.

Commenting on the new Centre, Chief Executive, NHS Stoke on Trent, Graham Urwin, said: “This new Centre is about providing access to GPs and nurses, as easily as possible, to the people we seek to serve and care for.

“NHS Stoke on Trent has got to continuously evolve and look at new and innovative ways of bringing healthcare to the community and the Hanley Health and Wellbeing Centre is a great service in the heart of Stoke-on-Trent.”

As well as providing a walk-in service for patients with minor illnesses or minor injuries, the Hanley Health and Wellbeing Centre will also offer a GP surgery where patients can register in the normal way.

The centre will be run by BH Health Ltd, a leading independent provider of primary care services, currently providing services to more than seven million patients across England.

NHS Stoke on Trent’s Head of Clinical Effectiveness and Quality Ian Gibson said: “The Hanley Health and Wellbeing Centre will primarily be a GP practice, but you won’t need to register to be seen. If for example you’re feeling ill whilst out shopping in Hanley or you fall and need a treatment for a minor injury, the Hanley Health and Wellbeing Centre will be able to help you. It’s going to be a real asset to the area and will greatly improve access to primary care services.”

Edmund Jahn, Managing Director of BH Health Ltd said:”We are delighted to have been awarded the contract to provide the Hanley Health and Wellbeing Centre. The new facility has been commissioned by NHS Stoke on Trent and is part of a nation-wide programme, led by Lord Darzi, aimed at improving access to GP services and calling on every PCT in England to establish a GP led Health Centre open for 12 hours a day, every day of the week.

He added: “We have experience of running similar centres in other parts of the country and we are excited to have the opportunity of working in Stoke-on-Trent. We look forward to working with other health and social care services to improve health and well being in the city.”

Patients can walk in without an appointment or be referred to the centre by NHS Direct, GP practices, and other local services.

Shoppers can walk in for health checks

The Sentinel | 30 December 2009

A £1.3 MILLION health and well-being centre opens in Hanley city centre tomorrow.

People will be able to simply walk in to the centre to be treated for most non-life threatening illnesses from 8am to 8pm, seven days a week including Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.

Under the weather shoppers and workers will be guaranteed attention from a doctor or nurse within half an hour of arrival.

The first medical complex of its type in the Potteries has been quietly taking shape all year behind the closed doors of one of Hanley’s most prominent buildings.

Its location in the former Yorkshire Bank in Stafford Street, opposite the Potteries Shopping Centre, was deliberately chosen by city’s health officials to be as close as possible to Hanley’s busy commercial heart.

But shoppers have been left puzzled for months over the nature of the refurbishment going on under their noses in the 1907 building. It is only in the past few days that it has become obvious that here is a venture that will eventually be bringing cures and pain relief to thousands of people a year.

Up to four GPs, alongside teams of nurses and therapists, will be tending the sick in the eight interview rooms grouped around a light and spacious waiting area where the pleasing design has cleverly incorporated the structure’s original pillars.

It may not have the X-ray facilities or the scale of the city’s other walk-in centre at Burslem’s Haywood Hospital, but that is nurse-led and the difference in Hanley is that people will get to see a doctor.

The centre will also operate as a traditional GP practice with the aim of eventually having 6,000 patients registered.

And as a bonus three computer screens are available for people to access health information over the internet. Good health and lifestyle messages will also be broadcast from two television monitors in the front window.

The services are in the hands of private company BH Health Ltd which has won a five-year contract let by Stoke-on-Trent Primary Care Trust. It has just appointed Worcester GP Dr Ian Laws as its clinical director and senior doctor.

Dr Laws said: “I am absolutely delighted to be joining the team here and looking forward to developing an entirely new GP-led service for patients in Stoke. Our focus will be on delivering high quality care for patients, seven days a week, 365 days a year.”

The complex is the latest in a string of new PCT health centres transforming primary care in the Potteries. One opened in Meir in September and the next will appear in Middleport on March 1. Planning is also continuing for new health centres in Tunstall and Cobridge. Ian Gibson, PCT head of quality, said: “We looked at other locations in the city centre including the planned regeneration of the bus station site.

“But when this building became available we knew it was in an ideal spot to help people who have gone off their feet while shopping, have become breathless or have had a fall or other minor injury.”

PCT chief executive Graham Urwin, pictured left, added: “NHS Stoke-on-Trent has got to continuously evolve and look at innovative ways of bringing healthcare to the community and the Hanley Health and Wellbeing Centre is a great service in the heart of Stoke-on-Trent.”

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NHS Southampton City and NHS Portsmouth agree to combine community healthcare providers

Posted on December 21, 2009. Filed under: Arm's length providers, Press/News Releases |

Southampton Community Healthcare | About us | News Release | accessed 21 December 2009

NHS Southampton City and NHS Portsmouth Trust Boards have this week given their approval to integrate their provider arms, Portsmouth Community and Mental Health Services and Southampton Community Healthcare.
NHS Portsmouth’s Trust Board today agreed to proposals outlined in the joint full business case which follows the same decision taken yesterday (Thu 19 Nov) by NHS Southampton City.

Following today’s decision, the full business case will now be considered by South Central Strategic Health Authority (SHA) and the Department of Health. If accepted, this decision will mean that as of 1 April 2010, a new NHS community and mental health services provider will be created. As part of this decision, Portsmouth Community and Mental Health Services will transfer across to NHS Southampton City from April 2010.

The current teams will now continue to work together in developing the agreed proposals and shaping services to meet the needs of patients.

Bob Deans, Chief Executive Officer for NHS Southampton City which runs Southampton Community Healthcare and will host theintegrated services, said: “Creating a single NHS community provider, through the integration of Southampton and Portsmouth’s respective provider arms, will allow us to keep services local and provide patients with improved quality of care, increased choice and an even better patient experience. This positive decision will also allow the local NHS to revolutionise the delivery of community services across Southampton and Portsmouth which will benefit both patients and staff.”

Tracy Sanders, Chief Executive of NHS Portsmouth, the Primary Care Trust that currently runs Portsmouth Community and Mental Health Services, added: “By taking this decision, we’re not proposing that patients in Southampton travel to Portsmouth or vice versa to use services. Instead, the decision will allow us to create one dedicated provider through which we can share best practice and deliver improved services to patients across both areas. As we move towards April 2010, we will further develop the proposals we have in place to ensure a smooth integration. The decision by NHS Southampton City and NHS Portsmouth will create a provider with increased financial stability for the years to come and one which is able to offer improved access to healthcare services for patients.”

This decision follows guidance published in Transforming Community Services: Enabling new patterns of provision, published by the Department of Health, which states that Primary Care Trusts must develop a detailed plan for the future of provider services and review the options for most appropriate organisational form.


Notes for Editors:

NHS Southampton City is responsible for investing in health and care services to effectively meet the needs of the city’s population.

Southampton Community Healthcare is the provider arm of NHS Southampton City. As a provider organisation, Southampton Community Healthcare delivers NHS services in the community.

NHS Portsmouth is responsible for commissioning and providing local health services.

Portsmouth Community and Mental Health Services is the provider arm of NHS Portsmouth, responsible for a wide range delivering a wide range of community health services across the city, and further afield, to meet local health needs.

The Transforming Community Services (TCS) programme aims to improve community services so that they can provide modern personalised and responsive care of a consistently high standard. To find out more visit

The transferring of Portsmouth Community and Mental Health Services to NHS Southampton City will take place via Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006 (TUPE).
Following this decision by the respective Trust Boards, a merger proposal will now be presented to the Department of Health, for implementation from 1 Apr. The Full Business Case will now be considered by South Central Strategic Health Authority and various Department of Health Boards

For more information please contact:

PORTSMOUTH: Pat Forsyth, NHS Portsmouth on 023 9268 4835.

SOUTHAMPTON: Matthew Butler, NHS Southampton City on 023 8029 6930.

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NHS spending and the role of the private sector

Posted on December 21, 2009. Filed under: ISTC, Press/News Releases | Tags: |

British Medical Association | Media Centre | 21 December 2009

Note: This paper is intended as background information for the media. It is not intended as a comprehensive BMA policy briefing paper.


Funding for the NHS in England is expected to come under pressure after 2011, and there may be real term reductions in spending on health. The BMA understands the need for efficiency, but believes that the focus should be on cutting the waste resulting from commercial provision of NHS services, rather than on cuts to frontline care.

The following paper lists reports of money wasted as a result of market-driven reforms in the NHS.

Private Finance Initiative (PFI)

Under the Private Finance Initiative, the private sector has been contracted to provide new hospitals and other infrastructure and then lease them back to the state for 25 or 30 years.

A 2007 report from the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants stated ‘Unlike capital charges from non-PFI hospitals, the charges raised against PFI schemes represent revenue paid to private consortia and lost from the NHS. More schemes will eventually ensure that more money leaves the NHS in this way. In 2004, it was estimated that capital charges from PFI schemes were costing the taxpayer £125m per year.’

The 2008 National Audit Office report,Making Changes in Operational PFI Projects stated that ‘An estimated £180 million was paid by public authorities to PFI contactors to undertake [contractual] changes in 2006.

According to a report in the Daily Telegraph, ‘during the spending review period in 2011-2014, PFI repayments will rise to £4.18 billion – an increase of over £1 billion at current levels. The inflexibility of PFI contracts means that it is more likely that hospitals will make cuts to services to meet their PFI repayments’. (Hospital to cut services to pay for £60bn private finance deal Daily Telegraph, 8 August 2009)

– According to the Economist, ‘the Treasury recently established a unit to lend money to PFI projects that were experiencing difficulty in securing funds through the banks. In effect, public money is being used to prop up PFI projects’. (The Economist, print edition, 7 February 2009)

– Research (published June 2009) carried out by Dr Chris Edwards of the University of East Anglia looked at one of the first PFI contracts agreed for Norfolk and Norwich University hospital (NNUH) and concluded that:

– £217 million could be saved if the contract were bought out from the private company that originally financed the deal.

– £2.4 billion could be saved on buying out the contracts of 53 PFI hospitals, assuming the same saving as NNUH (however, each hospital would have to be looked at in detail individually).

– According to a BBC News report, ‘the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust scrapped its PFI scheme due to spiralling costs. £23 million of public money had been wasted on initial preparations’. Hospitals scrap revamp plan, BBC News Online, 20 July 2007

– According to a Times report in 2008, ‘HSBC made almost £100million from managing National Health Service hospitals where contractors charge taxpayers inflated bills for simple tasks, such as £210 to fit an electrical socket. The charges, paid at hospitals run by the bank’s subsidiary infrastructure company, raise questions about lax controls in Labour’s private finance initiative’. Hospitals run by HSBC, Times Online, 8 June 2008

Independent Sector Treatment Centres (ISTCs)

Independent Sector Treatment Centres (ISTCs) are owned and run by the private sector, but contracted to provide NHS treatment. They typically carry out large volumes of supposedly simple surgical procedures such as hip replacements. The BMA is concerned that ISTCs are receiving millions of pounds for work which is not being carried out and still being paid, as their income is guaranteed. This means more money is being paid into the private sector for less work than the NHS was promised.

Information provided by the Department of Health to the Health Select Committee showed that across the first wave of ISTCs the cost of work carried out was 12% more expensive than the same work carried out by the NHS.

According to a report in the Health Service Journal ‘more than three years after opening, the Greater Manchester surgical centre has still delivered only 63 per cent of contracted value’. ISTCs: Where are all the patients? HSJ, 18 Sep, 2008

Research published in the British Medical Journal on 30 April 2009 by academics at the Centre for International Public Health Policy at the University of Edinburgh found that in the first 13 months after the Scottish Regional Treatment Centre (SRTC) began accepting patients it carried out work worth only 18% of its £5.6m annual contract for referrals. They found that:

– there was ‘no evidence’ to support claims that the centre was ‘efficient or good value for money’.

– the contract reporting requirements did not conform to NHS standards.

– Scottish health boards may have overpaid up to £3 million in the first year of the contract

– if the same findings apply in England then as much as £927 million or almost two thirds of the total first wave contracts worth £1.54 billion might have been overpaid to ISTCs.

Management consultants

The BMA believes NHS trusts are spending too much money on management consultants, often to help them with the burdens created by the development of the internal market.

The Royal College of Nursing has estimated that NHS trusts in England spent £350 million in the last financial year on external management consultants.

Figures recently published by the Department of Health in response to a Freedom of Information request, show departmental spending on consultancy projects for DH itself comes to over £125 million for 2008/09. Costs for the three previous years came to:

£132m in 2007- 2008
£205m in 2006- 2007
£133m in 2005 – 2006

2009 report from the Management Consultancies Association estimated spending on management consultancy to the wider NHS for 2008 was £300 million.

A 2009 investigation by Pulse magazine found PCT spending on management consultants has more than tripled in the past two years. It analysed figures from 62 PCTs obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, and found:

– Each PCT is now spending an average of £1.217m on external companies: up from £361,000 since 2006-2007.

– The cost of legal and professional fees has also risen dramatically bringing the total paid to external companies to an average of £1.568m per PCT.

– NHS Tower Hamlets, hailed by ministers as a trailblazing PCT, reported the heaviest use of external consultants. It spent £5.682m on various projects in 2008, an eightfold increase since 2006-2007. Pulse, 20 May 2009

For further details about the BMA’s campaign visit Look after our NHS

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New GP- Led Health Centre Open

Posted on December 16, 2009. Filed under: GP-led health centres, Press/News Releases, Providers | Tags: |

NHS Milton Keynes | News Release | 16 December 2009

NHS Milton Keynes is pleased to announce that the new GP-led health centre is now open.

Milton Keynes’ 28th GP practice is based in Broughton Gate. It is open from 8am until 8pm seven days a week, including weekends. The health centre offers all the services offered by a traditional GP practice. People who live anywhere within the Milton Keynes area are able to use the health centre’s services, whether or not they are registered with the practice.

Clive Brookes, Interim Director of Contracts at NHS Milton Keynes, said: “This is an exciting development for primary care in Milton Keynes. Not only will the health centre provide high-quality and safe care, it will improve local people’s access to basic primary care services by offering longer opening hours.”

The new health centre is run by The Practice, after going through a selection process to be identified as the provider. The Practice is one of the UK’s leading providers of primary care services, operating GP surgeries and new style GP-led health centres as well as providing community based specialist clinical services for the NHS.

Debbie Raven, Chief Operating Officer at The Practice, said: “We are delighted to have been awarded the contract and look forward to working with the healthcare community in Milton Keynes – this will be key to the success of this project.

“Patients’ reaction to the flexibility and improved access at our other GP-led health centres has been overwhelmingly positive – I’m sure we will see a similar response here.”


The GP-led health centre is based at Glyn Valley Place, Broughton Gate, Milton Keynes MK10 7EF. Tel: 01908 874444

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Proposal for a new GP-led health centre in Leeds

Posted on December 14, 2009. Filed under: GP-led health centres, Press/News Releases | Tags: |

If you are reading this document then we believe you are interested in what happens to your local health services and would like to get involved. We welcome this and are pleased to hear your thoughts.
1 What this document is about

1.1 This document has been produced by Leeds Primary Care Trust (PCT), the local NHS organisation responsible for planning and paying for GP services. We want to let you know about our plans to open a new GP-led health centre in Leeds and are seeking the views and comments of patients who use health services, the public and stakeholders.
1.2 We will run a formal 12 week consultation from 19th May 2008 to 11th August 2008. This is an excellent opportunity for you to tell us what you want from your GP services so that we can develop a service that meets your needs.
Please use the comments form provided with this document to give us your views or ring the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) on freephone 0800 0525 270 who will listen to your views and feed them into the consultation process.

2 Background

2.1 In October 2007, Health Minister Professor Lord Darzi published his interim report into a review of the NHS, Our NHS, Our Future. Following this, the Government announced its intention to see 150 new GP-led health centres established across England, one in every PCT area.

2.2 The health centre can be established in an existing health building or a new building, and must offer new services and longer opening hours so that people can visit outside of normal working hours.

2.3 It must be located in an area which would benefit from additional primary care services.

2.4 In addition to this it must also be located in an area that is easily accessible for all Leeds patients.

2.5 The proposed new health centre in Leeds will make sure more patients will have access and choice of treatment from health care professionals. It is an additional service in Leeds. Please be assured that no GP practices will be closing.

2.6 This consultation process is about the services the Leeds GP-led health centre could provide.

3 What is a GP-led health centre?

A GP-led health centre is one where a GP is in attendance at all times. Nurses and other health professionals will also see patients.

4 Who will be able to use it?

Anyone who lives within the area covered by the health centre boundary will be able to register with the practice in the usual way. Patients who are not registered will also be able to access services, such as people who work in Leeds but don’t live here.

5 Where will it be?

5.1 The Burmantofts area of Leeds has been identified as a priority area that would benefit from increased primary medical care services. The GP-led health centre will initially be provided from the already established Burmantofts Health Centre which is currently owned by Leeds PCT.

5.2 There will be some improvements made to the building to make sure that it meets the requirements of a GP-led health centre. In the longer term the PCT will work with relevant stakeholders, for example local organisations, doctors and the local community, on future plans for Burmantofts. This may include further building work or looking for a brand new building.

6 Why will it be here?

6.1 We have looked at information about people’s health in Leeds and the existing services already available. This includes other centres in Leeds which are open across a range of hours where people can currently access health care. (Please see section 6.5). We have taken these into consideration and thought about how a new service can complement those services that are already in operation. Using all this information our proposal for the location of the new GP-led health centre is Burmantofts.

6.2 Information about the health needs of the local population supports this decision. For example, this area currently has higher than the city’s average rate of teenage pregnancies, low birth weights, deaths from cancer, coronary heart disease and circulatory diseases.

6.3 Burmantofts is to the east of the city, close to St. James’s Hospital, and has good public transport services from Leeds city centre.

6.4 We believe that by opening the new GP-led health centre at Burmantofts we have focused on one of the areas where the need is greatest. Burmantofts Health Centre is also easily accessible to all patients from the city centre.

6.5 Other centres where patients can obtain health services from include:

St. George’s Minor Injury Unit, Middleton, Leeds

Open 8am – 9pm Monday to Friday (times may vary over holidays)

Wharfedale Minor Injury Unit, Wharfedale Hospital, Otley

Open 8am – 11pm every day (times may vary over holidays)

Commuter Walk-in Centre, The Light, Leeds for minor illness and injury

Open 7am – 7pm Monday to Friday including bank holidays (except Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day)

Current opening times of these centres are being evaluated as part of a review of urgent care. This is based on what the people of Leeds told us last year during a similar engagement process.

7 What services will it provide?

Registered Patients

7.1 The health centre will register local patients in the same way as a normal GP practice would, but anyone else should also be able to get an appointment or access the walk-in service even if they are not registered at the practice.

7.2 It will be open from 8am until 8pm, seven days a week.

7.3 As well as the services that you would usually receive at a GP practice, we would also like to offer more services. At the back of this document are a few questions that will help us decide what additional services you would like us to put in the health centre.

7.4 The health centre will provide core services that must be provided by any GP practice for its registered patients. It will also provide a range of additional services that will be required to meet the needs of its local population, such as: outpatient clinics, minor surgery, alcohol services and sexual health services .

7.5 Non registered patients

The health centre will provide a range of services to non registered patients that have either requested an appointment, or wish to be seen on a drop-in basis. This could be because they can’t get to their own GP and are at work or it is outside of their own GP opening hours.

7.6 Walk-in services

People not registered with the GP-led health centre will be able to obtain fast access to health advice and treatment for a range of conditions such as: – sprains, coughs, colds, headaches, bites, burns, and rashes.

8 Who will run the health centre?

8.1 We are advertising for anyone interested in providing new GP services and we will be looking to award the contracts by the end of 2008. The new centre should then be up and running by early 2009.

8.2 The contract we award is known as an Alternative Provider of Medical Services (APMS) contract. This means that the NHS services could be provided by local GP practices, NHS organisations, social enterprises or commercial providers of such services. This will still be an NHS service which is free at the point of delivery to all patients and be expected to meet and exceed all the minimum standards around quality of care, safety and governance.

9 How are patient and public views being listened to?

9.1 We are keen to hear your views on how this service could best be developed to suit the needs of patients. Here in Leeds we are planning a number of drop-in events and these will take place over the next three months until 11th August. We will also be gathering comments and feedback from written questionnaires. Please see the enclosed feedback form and how to give us your thoughts and ideas.

10 How to give your views

We hope that you will take the time to let us know your views and anything else you think we should consider when developing the new GP-led health centre, including what services you think should be made available there.

11 How we will use the information

11.1 The outcome of the consultation will be used to influence the final specification of the new health centre and what we ask the company or organisation which wins the contract to provide.

11.2 A report of the analysed responses will be widely published and shared at a public Board meeting, the date of which has yet to be agreed. This report will be written once the consultation period has ended in August.

11.3 This report will be published on Leeds PCT’s website at

Terms used in this document

GP-led health centre

A health centre that provides a range of services, including GP services and community nursing where the care is managed by GPs. In addition to GPs, nurses and other healthcare professionals will also see patients.

Primary care

When people develop a health problem, usually their first point of contact is their doctor, dentist, pharmacist or optometrist. These health professionals work as part of the NHS front line team which is referred to as primary care. They work alongside practice nurses, district nurses, health visitors, speech and language therapists and other healthcare specialists to provide a wide range of non hospital-based health care services to the local population.


Organisations and individuals with an interest in the activities of the NHS. Stakeholders are involved in partnership working and are used for consultation purposes.

Walk-in centre

Centre led by nurses providing treatment for minor illnesses and injuries, for example, sprains, coughs, colds, headaches and flu-like symptoms. This service can be used by anyone on a walk in/drop in basis. No appointment is necessary.

Non registered

Patients that are not registered with any GP or patients living in or outside of Leeds that are registered with a GP Practice, but not registered with the GP-led Health Centre.

Health centre boundary

Designated area around the health centre. People who live in this area will be able to register as a patient at the health centre. The boundary has yet to be agreed.

Further reading

Our NHS, Our Future: NHS next stage review – interim report

Department of Health October 2007


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NHS Blackpool acquires Toshiba Aplio XG for new GP Led Health Centre

Posted on November 30, 2009. Filed under: GP-led health centres, Press/News Releases, Providers |

Toshiba Medical Systems UK | News & Press |  NHS Blackpool | 30 November 2009

The 100th fully operational new GP led health centre in England was officially opened in Blackpool on the 19th November by Health Secretary Andy Burnham.

In the picture: Left to right – Stewart Whitley, Radiology Advisor, UK Radiology Advisory Services Ltd, Nicky West, Superintendent Sonographer, Blackpool Victoria Hospital, Sue Corless, Sonographer and Nicky Sims, Clinical Applications Specialist Toshiba Medical Systems

NHS Blackpool’s £20m state-of-the art innovative Whitegate Health Centre houses the latest of the 152 GP led health centres opening across England that will see patients from 8am to 8pm, seven days a week, as part of a government programme to increase access to family doctor services and includes a modern Imaging suite comprising a digital X-ray room, MRI and ultrasound.

Health Secretary Andy Burnham said:

“I want the best to be available to everyone, not according to where they live. Our GP services were recently independently rated as being amongst the best in the world by GPs themselves – great news for patients. But I want to go even further and give patients more choice and greater access.

“Nearly one year on from the first GP led health centre opening, 100 centres across the country are making a huge difference in improving access to healthcare for local people.

“These health centres are an addition to existing GP services and are proving popular with patients who have told us that they want to be able to see a GP at times convenient to them and to access a wide range of services previously only available at hospitals.

“In addition, over 75 percent of GP practices are already offering more flexible opening hours for patients and earlier this year I also announced that we will abolish GP practice boundaries within a year, giving patients even greater choice.”

The GP health centres are part of £250 million extra investment in primary care announced last year which also includes setting up 112 new GP practices in areas of the country with the greatest health challenges and the fewest GPs. In each area, the local NHS has chosen the provider best able to deliver responsive services to meet the needs of the local community. Over half of the contracts have been awarded to existing GP partnerships or to GP partnerships in consortium with other providers.

The Whitegate Health Centre is a landmark primary care centre offering a wide range of health services all under one roof, providing patients with greater choice with facilities normally found at a hospital. As well as delivering greatly improved healthcare services within the local community, Whitegate Health Centre has a specific focus on meeting the needs of Blackpool’s homeless population.

The ultrasound room is equipped with a Toshiba Aplio XG and staffed by sonographers from the local Acute Trust – Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre Hospitals NHS Foundation.

Patients scanned at the centre are referred from local Blackpool GP surgeries and are seen within relatively short times from the time of their referral and reported immediately.

The Aplio XG is Toshiba’s premium ultrasound system with a host of features that make it an ideal solution for satisfying robust imaging requirements, as well as boosting efficiency. Its comprehensive array of clinically validated technologies, coupled with its full range of high-performance imaging functions allows the user to visualise minute tissue details and vascular structures with precision for a fast and more accurate diagnosis.

Images acquired at the Whitegate Health Centre are stored on a server locally within the centre and immediately copied to long-term storage and web servers within the Acute Trust. This makes them available for viewing at any of the six sites supported by the Acute Trust, where they can be accessed via 26 diagnostic workstations or any of the 4,500 networked PCs located within the Trust and NHS Blackpool.

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New Era for GP-led Healthcare as NHS Leicester City names preferred bidders in £15m investment

Posted on November 10, 2009. Filed under: GP-led health centres, Press/News Releases, Providers | Tags: , |

NHS Leicester City | News Release | 10 November 2009 (pdf)

Patients in Leicester will get a huge boost to their health care thanks to a £15million investment for new General Practitioner (GP) practices and a GP-led health centre.

This means two new GP practices and a new GP-led health centre are to open next year with a further practice planned for 2010. Additionally there will be new premises for an existing GP practice.

For the first time in Leicester, patients will be able to access GP or nurse-led healthcare, at a new walk-in centre, without needing to be registered at any practice.

The announcement of preferred bidders for new contracts heralds world-class primary care services for Leicester. This will mean more GPs and nurses serving the city, better access to local healthcare, longer opening hours, and more choice for local patients. The plans are set to benefit more than 15,000 Leicester patients by 2013, with local patients being able to choose from a wider range of doctors.

The contracts are for the management of clinical services run from the new GP-led health centre and the two new GP practices. Additionally, a full relocation package is being announced for an established local GP practice.

The process started with a rigorous six-month tendering process which received 46 initial expressions of interest from potential bidders. The evaluation process involved bidders providing detailed information with the short-listed giving interviews and hosting site visits. A panel of health and other professionals, including a GP and patient representative, worked on the assessment of the proposals.

The contracts for the brand new premises will be awarded, subject to final negotiations, to:

• Canon Street, an established Leicester City GP surgery

• UnitedHealth Primary Care, a national health and wellbeing primary services company

• SSAFA Community Interest Company (Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association), an international charitable organisation providing health and social care services

In addition The Willows Practice will be relocating to Rowlatts Hill.

Leicester’s Canon Street Surgery, run by GP Dr Bhupendra Modi, is the successful bidder for the new Northfields GP practice in the north of the city. It will be housed in temporary accommodation on St Ives Road until the planned new premises are built. Canon Street will continue as a GP practice and both it and Northfields will be run by Dr Modi, who is also a clinical GP trainer. An estimated 6,000 additional patients will be able to register at Northfields.

UnitedHealth Primary Care will run the new city centre GP practice which will have the capacity to see a potential 6,000 patients. The practice will be at 29/31 Bowling Green Street. The company already runs two successful GP practices in Derby, Normanton Medical Centre which opened in 2006 and Vidya, which began seeing patients earlier this year. The company also has three GP practices in London.

SSAFA Community Interest Company will run a new GP-led health centre within the new Charnwood Health and Social Care Centre in the Charnwood area of the city. SSAFA CIC opened its first UK health centre in Luton in July this year but runs primary care practices all over the world. An estimated 3,500 patients will be able to register at this practice. The site will include a walk-in centre for unregistered patients – anyone will be able to see a nurse or GP here.

The organisations were all chosen for their ability to deliver world class health care to the people of Leicester. They were subject to extensive assessments on standards in quality of care, patient experience and value for money.

NHS Leicester City has decided not to award a contract for the originally proposed planned new premises in Crown Hills. Instead The Willows Practice, currently situated on Coleman Road on the edge of the Rowlatts Hill estate will relocate to a development at the heart of the estate. These new premises will improve access for the people living in Rowlatts Hill estate and provide the opportunity for the practice to extend its range of services. Dr Mo Roshan, who leads The Willows, is a clinical GP trainer and has worked in Leicester since 1990. The practice currently serves 3,000 patients.

It is expected Charnwood Health and Social Care Centre will open its doors from the end of January next year. The new Northfields practice is set to open its doors from next May while United Health’s city centre practice will open at 29/31 Bowling Green Street from September 2009. The new Northfields practice will be housed in state-of-the-art temporary buildings until the permanent premises are completed.

NHS Leicester City’s chief executive Tim Rideout said: “This is a proud day for NHS Leicester City and a great day for local patients. It’s a sign of the importance that we attach to improving health and picking up signs of poor health at an early stage that we are committing £15 million to these great new primary care facilities.”

Leicestershire and Rutland Local Medical Committee chairman Dr Nick Simpson said: “The LMC welcomes this announcement. We are pleased that an existing local GP practice has been successful and that these new contracts will not all go to a single private sector company.

“We are also glad that NHS Leicester City has listened to feedback and responded by identifying an alternative solution to meeting the needs of residents in the Crown Hills area.

“We had initial concerns at the start of this process but we feel that today’s announcement is a good outcome for the patients and existing practices of the city.”

NHS Leicester City plans to launch another new GP practice elsewhere in Leicester in 2010.


For interviews, photo opportunities or further information, please contact Joanna Petersen on 0116 295 4123 or

Notes to editors

NHS Leicester City’s overall objective is to meet the health needs of the people of Leicester within the available resources. It is accountable for a budget of approximately £470 million, and serves a population of more than 340,000 people.

Within its remit, the Trust is responsible for engaging with the local population to improve health and well-being; commissioning a comprehensive range of high quality health services; directly providing health services where this is most appropriate, and ensuring that it gets best value for taxpayer’s money.

Clinical GP trainer: Trains registrars (new doctors) to make the transfer from being a hospital doctor to a community general practitioner.

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Community Health Partnerships

Posted on October 26, 2009. Filed under: LIFT, Press/News Releases, Providers |

CHP website | accessed 26 October 2009

Community Health Partnerships (CHP) develops, creates investment in and helps deliver innovative ways to improve health and local authority services.

Its main activity has been to deliver the Local Improvement Finance Trust (LIFT) Initiative which provides clean, modern, purpose-built premises for health and local authority services in England.

So far it has developed public-private partnerships to establish 47 LIFT companies, covering two thirds of England’s population. They have delivered over £1950 million of investment in more than 250 buildings that are either open or under construction. More recently, CHP has developed developing new models of public-private partnership, such as Community Ventures and Social Enterprises, to improve health and social care.

Community Health Partnerships (CHP) – known until autumn 2007 as Partnerships for Health (PfH) – is an independent company, wholly owned by the Department of Health.

Community Health Partnerships is a national organisation, rooted in local delivery of better community health and local authority services.  

It has a proven track record of innovative thinking and practical on-time delivery of projects tailored to local need. It fosters continuous improvement as it brings together the financial and organisational skills of the public and private sectors.  

CHP’s experience in driving innovation and continuous improvement through the Local Improvement Finance Trust (LIFT) programme has prepared its staff well for broader public-private ventures.

Its goal is to become a recognised centre of excellence in:

  • Efficient and effective delivery of capital projects in the health and local authority sectors

  • Public-private partnerships across the NHS and local government

  • Innovative and creative solutions to procure and develop assets that enhance health and social care provision

Community Health Partnerships offers a number of financial, management and consultancy services including:

  • Building public-private partnerships

  • Collation and dissemination of best practice in public-private partnerships within the health and social care fields

  • Development of LIFT Companies (LIFTCos) – CHP sets up and generates investment in new LIFTCos

  • Development of new capital projects within PCTs with existing LIFTCos

  • Advice to LIFTCos seeking to work within non-LIFT areas

  • Advice to PCTs in non-LIFT areas that want LIFTCos to work on projects

  • Benchmarking, for the Department of Health, of LIFT costs

  • Reporting improvements developed in the LIFT programme for the cross-departmental Innovation Programme

  • Managing and promoting the Department of Health’s Social Enterprise Investment Fund

  • Support to Strategic Health Authorities for the allocation of funding for Community Ventures via the Community Hospitals Fund. CHP also works with PCTs on detailed project development of Community Ventures.

  • Work on Strategic Estate Development – the re-development of real estate in primary healthcare 



Local Improvement Finance Trusts (LIFT) have secured a dramatic improvement in primary and social care services and facilities.

Together 47 LIFT companies have generated over £1950m in investment to develop more than 250 new integrated community facilities that are either open or under construction. 

These LIFT companies are partnerships of public-private finance and expertise. The partnerships are able to create integrated facilities more quickly, particularly in disadvantaged areas, in ways tailored to local needs, than is normally possible.

The LIFT concept has inspired partnerships, enabling true innovation and exciting community care models to be developed, such as incorporating housing and benefit advice, mental health services and voluntary agencies, within one building.

LIFT is breaking down the organisational silos that have traditionally existed between the primary and secondary healthcare sectors and between the NHS and social care.

LIFT establishes a public-private partnership company – a LIFTCo – which works with local organisations to provide bespoke, tailor-made facilities.

The LIFTCo is formed from three groups: 
– local public sector health and care organisations (including PCTs and Local Authorities), 
– the selected private sector organisation, 
– and Community Health Partnerships. 

A Strategic Partnering Board, including all key local health and social care organisations, is established to collate the service requirements of all local providers.  The Board plans and then delivers an integrated service strategy.

The LIFT model allows a range of buildings to be procured, from small GP practices to one stop centres to community hospitals and multi-million pound, multiple agency, health and social care centres.

LIFT assets are owned by the public-private partnerships, run by the LIFTCo and leased/rented to service providers. This frees up the public sector to concentrate on service strategy and commissioning. The public sector, however, still has a 40 per cent stake in the ownership of the assets through its shareholding in LIFTCo. So the assets are therefore NOT exclusively owned by the private sector.

Express LIFT

Following the successful establishment of 47 LIFT companies covering more than half of the population of England, Express LIFT has been developed to provide a ‘fast-track’ procurement route. A ‘private sector partner’ is selected from a nationally procured framework of pre-approved partners, without the need for a ‘traditional’ competition based around the design of sample schemes, making it more cost effective.

The difference between Express LIFT and a traditional LIFT procurement

In a ‘traditional’ LIFT procurement, bidders are required to provide fully costed designs for the sample schemes in competition. This is a time consuming and costly process for all bidders and PCTs. In Express LIFT, public sector participants will be required to have an outline SSDP which they will utilise assistance from their LIFT company to complete. This means that the LIFT company can have a far greater influence on what it is that the PCT is trying to achieve through its commissioning and estates strategy. There will be no competitive design element (which will significantly reduce both time and cost) and no obligation to establish a supply chain for delivery and maintenance of defined projects at this stage.

Procurements under the Express LIFT programme will be significantly shorter. PCTs will need to undertake a reasonable amount of preparatory work before commencing a competition and will, of course, have to be mindful of the logistics of obtaining all the requisite Board approvals, however, it ought to be possible for a PCT to run the competition process in less than three months.

National procurement

The Department of Health ran a national procurement, which resulted in the following seven companies being selected to join a national framework as prospective LIFT company partners in March 2009:

Subject to receiving the necessary approval, PCTs can now commence their local call-off procurements. All of the prospective partners have demonstrated that they are able to provide the partnering services in a manner capable of realising and demonstrating value for money.

Framework timeline

Under EU procurement rules, a framework contract can exist for a maximum of four years. Our intention is for the Express LIFT framework to run for two years with the option on the part of the Secretary of State to extend the framework for a further two years.

National competition

The Department of Health ran the national framework procurement on behalf of the Secretary of State for Health with the assistance of Community Health Partnerships and other external advisers.

For further details please see the following – Memorandum of Info for PCTs – April 2009

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Alliance calls for NHS providers to get priority

Posted on October 26, 2009. Filed under: News stories, Press/News Releases | Tags: , , |

Pulse | By Gareth Iacobucci | 26 October 2009

The NHS Alliance is urging the Government to slam the brakes on privatisation of NHS services by adopting new rules on APMS tendering.

Under its proposals PCTs would be barred from approaching independent providers unless they could satisfy detailed criteria that existing NHS services were not meeting quality standards.

In Scotland legislation has already been brought in to bar private companies from taking over the running of NHS services.

It also backs the Department of Health’s advice to NHS trusts to give current providers ‘at least two chances’ to improve where they are found to be under-performing, and for alternative providers to only be considered as a last resort.

In a paper entitled Rebalancing the Market, launched at last week’ NHS Alliance Conference in Manchester, the organisation backs the Government’s shift in emphasis, and recommends a revamp to the way services are tendered for.

For years PCTs have been encouraged to court private providers to bid for APMS contracts but the Alliance advises that in the future, PCTs should only invite private bidders in to bid to run services where there are no current providers of sufficient quality willing to tender.

It also calls on SHAs and PCTs to offer ‘formal support’ to NHS bidders during the tendering process, and recommends bidders be assessed on their ability to provide continuity of care and engage with local patient groups.

Dr Brian Fisher MBE, public and patient involvement lead, at the NHS Alliance, who presented the paper, said: ‘This will respect the importance of continuity in integration of local services and organisations that have historically provided a good local service.

‘It will encourage competition where services are of insufficient standard or too expensive, without destabilising primary care provision when it is already good.’

Market forces need to be put in service of patients

NHS Alliance | 21 October 2009

NHS organisations should be the first choice for commissioners as preferred providers, says the NHS Alliance. 

In a paper entitled Rebalancing the Market, which will be launched at the NHS Alliance 12th Annual Conference in Manchester, the organisation suggests two new approaches to tendering and commissioning that would improve cooperation and increase efficiencies. 

The paper states that tendering for services to include private bidders should be encouraged only when there are no current providers of sufficient quality prepared to offer extended services or conventional GP services at the right price. 

Dr Brian Fisher, National Public and Patient Involvement Lead, NHS Alliance, and the paper’s author, said: “Too often, the result of a business model is an NHS organisation that looks for increased income, which can come at the expense of patient care. The Alliance would like to see market forces better directed to improve the service to patients.” 

Although working with the independent sector has its advantages, it also poses many challenges, not least to the patient who, instead of being at the centre of healthcare planning, becomes part of a tug of war between primary and secondary care. 

Independent sector organisations may be more expensive and exit the market when the going gets tough. They may also decide to cut costs using short-term and/or inexperienced clinicians.

The paper also highlights that collaborative commissioning, programme budgeting and horizontal/vertical integration could be the answer to creating an environment where all partners have a common interest in improving care pathways and producing efficiencies. It says: “It may be that a cooperative approach works in some situations and not in others – there may well be a mixed set of approaches both within and between PCTs.”

For a copy of Rebalancing the Market or to arrange an interview with Dr Brian Fisher please contact the NHS Alliance press office on 07951204999/ 


Notes to Editors
1. For more information, please contact the NHS Alliance press office on 07951204999/ 

2. The NHS Alliance is the only independent body that brings together primary care trusts’ chief executives and other senior managers, doctors and practice managers, nurses, pharmacists and allied health professionals, along with board chairs and members. We are a value-driven organisation, with no political affiliation, which works in partnership with various bodies associated with the NHS to create a progressive health service that is free from the traditional tribalism of single interest groups.

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New GP-led health centre opens in Cowgate

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

NHS North OF Tyneside | News Release | 20 October 2009

A new local GP-led health centre, featuring some state-of-the-art medical equipment, has successfully opened in the heart of a Newcastle community.

Since opening, Ponteland Road Health Centre, near the Aldi store in Cowgate, has received strong interest from local residents and those from nearby Blakelaw.

More than 75 people have registered as patients at the new centre – an initial take-up that was greater than expected.

The walk-in service has also proved a welcome new facility with an average of around 40 people a day now using the centre.

Ponteland Road Health Centre – open 8am to 8pm every day of the week – opened on October 5.

Dr Tony Thick, lead director of clinical services, said: “We are delighted with the public response, which clearly demonstrates the very real need for such a centre.

“The new centre provides better access to a range of GP and health services and will help people to receive treatment in centres closer to their home rather than in hospital. The centre and the 18 jobs created demonstrate our ongoing commitment to provide better healthcare access for people in the local community.”

The new centre combines a walk-in service open from 8am to 8pm, 365 days per year, a new GP practice that patients can register to join as well as hosting a range of services including x-ray, ultrasound and echocardiography (heart tests).

The jobs were created in order to manage the new health centre which along with a similar facility built and opened in Battle Hill, North Tyneside, represent a £6 million investment by the local NHS.  Both centres are situated in convenient locations for giving people who live or work in the local areas easy access to meet their healthcare needs.

The site for the centre was developed by a consortium – called Freeman Clinics – comprising the Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and GP practices.

Battle Hill’s new centre manager is Tony Hockey. Tony was previously practice manager at a local GP practice. He said: “These new facilities are good news for people living in Newcastle and North Tyneside. They provide better access to a range of GP and health services in the community. Due to the unique partnership with The Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, we can ensure that patients receive better and more co-ordinated care.”

The centre has led to the creation of the following roles: a director of clinical services, practice manager, deputy practice manager, GPs, nurse practitioners, reception supervisor, and receptionist administrators.


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