ChilversMcCrea and The Practice join forces

Posted on November 24, 2010. Filed under: Providers | Tags: , |

ChilversMcCrea website

Leading healthcare provider, The Practice, announces expansion news which will bolster its already extensive network of GP surgeries and walk-in centres. As of 19 November 2010, Chilvers & McCrea Ltd (Surgery business) became part of The Practice group. Combined, the group will now provide care to over 150,000 NHS patients registered in England and Wales through 50 surgeries, seven of which are walk-in centres.

With the forthcoming changes in NHS primary care in mind, Dr Sarah Chilvers and Dr Rory McCrea, the founders of Chilvers & McCrea Ltd, felt that by bringing the company under the umbrella of The Practice, it would benefit from the financial security and wider range of options for patient care which a larger organisation has to offer. It is strongly believed that this move will benefit all patients, stakeholders and surgery staff alike.

Peter Watts, Chief Executive for The Practice, says: “As a result of the White Paper ‘Liberating the NHS’, it is clear that providers of primary care need to be more cohesive in how they deliver care to patients. It is my belief that in order to be a fit for purpose organisation, we need to create a health eco-system with a scale and complexity that small localised organisations alone cannot achieve.”

Watts continued, “Sarah, Rory and I have frequently discussed the positive opportunities in providing primary healthcare as a combined organisation on behalf of the NHS. Over the years we have continued to identify the strong synergy between our respective organisations and with a radical shake-up of the NHS imminent, we feel that now is the right time to effect the integration necessary to realise this shared vision.”

Rory added: “We will be working closely with The Practice during the coming months to ensure the successful integration of the two organisations and the continued high quality of care for patients. Sarah and I will be stepping down from the day to day running of the business but are excited by the prospect of being able to focus on a number of strategic projects and healthcare initiatives for the group. Additionally we are continuing to offer our expertise to other healthcare and NHS bodies through ChilversMcCrea Healthcare”.

Notes to editors

The Practice is a primary care organisation, headquartered in Little Chalfont, Buckinghamshire. It provides healthcare in the community as well as into secure environments such as prisons and detention centres.

The Practice was founded five years ago by GPs. It boasts a unique blend of clinical and commercial experience in that it combines best practice healthcare management with strong financial control and business acumen.

ChilversMcCrea Healthcare will continue as a Healthcare Provider in its own right. Chilvers and McCrea Ltd is the legal entity which holds the primary care medical services contracts (Surgeries). http://www.thepracticeplc.com

Contact

Imogen Erskine, The SPA Way (on behalf of The Practice), on: 020 7403 6900, email: imogen.erskine@thespaway.com orjessica.dixon@thespaway.com

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The Practice snaps up Chilvers McCrea surgery empire

Posted on November 24, 2010. Filed under: Providers | Tags: |

Pulse | 24 Nov 10 | By Ian Quinn

Private provider The Practice has taken over Chilvers and McCrea Ltd, taking its growing business to 50 practices and GP-led health centres.

After completing the deal, the company predicted that smaller organisations would no longer be able to survive under the Government’s white paper plans.

Private firms are bidding to take advantage of the Government’s plans by offering national-scale operations as providers and also offering commissioning support, but the move suggests there will be a survival of the biggest.

Dr Sarah Chilvers and Dr Rory McCrea, founders of Chilvers and McCrea Ltd, said selling the business to The Practice would give it ‘longer term greater financial security’ benefiting ‘patients, stakeholders and surgery staff alike’.

Peter Watts, chief executive of The Practice, which has won a raft of recent contracts to run Darzi centres and has been launching a major recruitment drive for GPs to work in its practices across the country, said: ‘As a result of the white paper ‘Liberating the NHS’, it is clear that providers of primary care need to be more cohesive in how they deliver care to patients.’

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‘It is my belief that in order to be a fit-for-purpose organisation, we need to create a health eco-system with a scale and complexity that small localised organisations alone cannot achieve.’

Mr Watts added: ‘Sarah, Rory and I have frequently discussed the positive opportunities in providing primary healthcare as a combined organisation on behalf of the NHS. Over the years we have continued to identify the strong synergy between our respective organisations and with a radical shake-up of the NHS imminent, we feel that now is the right time to effect the integration necessary to realise this shared vision.’

Dr McCrea said: ‘We will be working closely with The Practice during the coming months to ensure the successful integration of the two organisations and the continued high quality of care for patients.’

‘Sarah and I will be stepping down from the day-to-day running of the business but are excited by the prospect of being able to focus on a number of strategic projects and healthcare initiatives for the group. Additionally we are continuing to offer our expertise to other healthcare and NHS bodies through ChilversMcCrea Healthcare.’

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Darzi centres predicted to struggle in NHS budget squeeze

Posted on November 19, 2009. Filed under: GP-led health centres, News stories | Tags: |

Pulse | By By Nigel Praities | 19 November 2009

Darzi centres will bear the brunt of shrinking NHS budgets and a lack of forward planning when their budgets were set by PCTs, says a top entrepreneurial GP.

Dr Rory McCrea, a GP in Waltham Abbey and a founder of the UK’s first corporate provider of NHS general practice, said GP-led health centres would struggle to justify their cost over the next few years.

His company – Chilvers McCrea Healthcare – has been involved in bids for GP-led health centres around country, but he now claims traditional general practice will fare better than the larger centrally imposed health centres.

Speaking at the National Association of Primary Care conference in Birmingham, Dr McCrea said general practice faces an ‘Arctic freeze’.

‘It is going to be very tough and it will put practices under quite a lot of pressure – no surprises there. There needs to be more planning and capital.’

‘There is a lot happening with GP-led health centres and I think a lot will fall into some difficulty for financial reasons.’

‘There is not a great deal of money about and there is just not enough cash in them. The reason why is that there is a focus on service rather than development, and development has not been costed for where they need to be,’ he said.

The comments come weeks after Pulse revealed GP-led health centres across England were failing to meet their targets for registering patients and were looking increasingly like a network of expensive ‘white elephants’.

Dr McCrea was more upbeat about the future of traditional general practice: ‘I suspect we will see models such as ours turning practices around, and I predict there will be a there will a rise in partnerships – and that will be a good thing,’ he said.

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APMS firm got 10% pay boost

Posted on October 20, 2009. Filed under: News stories, Providers | Tags: , |

Pulse | By Steve Nowottny | 20 October 2009

Exclusive: A private company received 10% extra over the value of its core APMS contract through a single local enhanced service-style payment in the first year of running a GP practice, Pulse can reveal.

Creswell Primary Care Centre in Derbyshire, which was taken over by the company ChilversMcCrea Healthcare in 2007, received a payment of £63,906 for ‘Note Summarisation’ in 2007/8, details released under the Freedom of Information Act reveal.

ChilversMcCrea said the funding was prompted by the ‘exceptional amount of work’ required to summarise notes after taking over the village practice.

But local GPs have raised concerns that the payment, which was not offered to any neighbouring practices, was far above the going rate and indicative of preferential treatment for the private sector.

The payment for note summarisation represents 10% of the total value of Chilvers McCrea’s contract, which a separate FOI response has disclosed was £631,833 in 2007/8. The payment equates to roughly £10 per patient.

However, in the following year, 2008/9, the practice scored poorly on four QOF indicators relating to notes summarisation, being awarded 0% for an indicator on whether it had up-to-date clinical summaries in at least 60% of patient records.

Dr Trefor Roscoe, a GP in Sheffield who worked as a registrar in the Derbyshire practice 20 years ago, said: ‘We pay our summarisers about £6 an hour, and they do four or five sets of notes an hour. That’s the going rate. I suspect ChilversMcCrea has said, “there’s no way we can take this practice on – the notes are a mess and we need some money to sort it out”. The trust has added 10%, but this is money the public purse should not have had to spend.’

A PCT spokesperson said the payment was ‘not a formal LES’ but had been listed as such in its FOI response ‘to be fully transparent’. ‘As it wasn’t a formal LES, it wasn’t offered to other practices,’ the spokesperson said.

The trust declined to comment on whether the funding was over the odds, but said it ‘was to reflect the need to improve the notes [Chilvers McCrea] inherited’.

Asked about its subsequent QOF score, the spokesperson said: ‘This process has only just been completed and payments to the practice reflect this.’

Dr Sarah Chilvers, managing director of ChilversMcCrea, said: ‘When we took over the practice, an exceptional amount of work was required to bring the notes up to standard. This work has helped us to significantly improve access to healthcare for patients.’

Dr John Grenville, secretary of Derbyshire LMC, said: ‘On the face of it, it looks very discriminatory. But although they’ve listed it as a LES, it’s an APMS contract so LESs don’t really count. Because the definitions are so different, it’s impossible to tell if the playing field is level.’

ChilversMcCrea, which manages over 30 practices across the UK, has endured a difficult few months. Earlier this month NHS North East Essex threatened to remove its APMS contract for a local practice after accusing the firm of ‘underestimating’ the challenge of running GP services.

In April, the company was forced to terminate its contract for a practice in south-east Essex, blaming the economic climate.

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Private provider faces PCT sanctions

Posted on October 6, 2009. Filed under: News stories, Providers | Tags: , |

Pulse | By By Gareth Iacobucci | NHS North East Essex | 6 October 2009

NHS managers are threatening to remove a private company’s APMS contract after accusing the firm of ‘under-estimating’ the challenge of running GP services and not providing continuity of care.

NHS North East Essex is threatening to take ‘draconian measures’ against Chilvers McCrea Healthcare, after patients at the Green Elms surgery in Jaywick complained about the lack of full-time GPs.

Speaking at a public meeting, Penny Lansdown, head of primary care commissioning at NHS North East Essex, said the trust was planning the strongest possible sanctions.

‘Frankly, it has not delivered,’ she said. ‘I think it under-estimated the challenge here.’

‘We are taking quite draconian measures. I am going to go into the surgery every week. If we do not get what we want, and soon, we will take the steps necessary.’

‘What we would like to do is work with the company to see if it can get it right. If it does not perform, we will use the leverage in the contract to remove it if necessary.’

Dr Rory McCrea, chair of Chilvers McCrea Healthcare, said the company was investing ‘considerable time and resources’ in the practice.

‘Our number one priority is patient care. That’s why we have spent considerable time and resources recruiting permanent GPs to the Green Elms Medical Centre.

‘By the start of November there will be four full-time GPs with a further permanent GP to be recruited next month.’

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Recession forces Chilvers McCrea to drop APMS contract

Posted on April 28, 2009. Filed under: News stories, Providers | Tags: , , , |

Pulse | By Gareth Iacobucci | 28 April 2009

A squeeze on bank lending is forcing private providers to ditch APMS contracts, Pulse can reveal.

Chilvers McCrea Healthcare, which manages over 30 practices across the UK, has been forced to terminate its contact to run an APMS practice in Essex because of the tough economic climate.

It is the latest in a series of private sector withdrawals from primary care which appear to pose a serious threat to the Government’s drive to ramp up competition.

The company’s decision to stop running the Pier Medical Centre in Southend, which includes two surgeries, comes just weeks after its chair, Dr Rory McCrea, warned GPs would find it increasingly difficult to make a profit on APMS contracts.

South East Essex PCT is now having to search for a new provider for the contract, which runs out in 2010.

Dr McCrea told Pulse: ‘Due to the current economic climate, it was not sustainable for Chilvers McCrea Healthcare to carry on the contract to manage the practice.

‘Chilvers McCrea, like many companies across all sectors, is debt funded and currently banks are going through a period of being nervous about lending.’

A spokesman for the PCT said: ‘ChilversMcCrea is continuing to deliver services until 2010. During this time we will secure a new provider through the procurement process to ensure there is a seamless transfer of services.’

The move comes after private firm Atos Healthcare recently pulled out of running an APMS practice in Berkshire due to the financial climate and low demand for services.

Both Atos and United Health also dropped out of the running for a tender in Sheffield prior to the award of the contract.

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The Practice plc expands with a new surgery in West London

Posted on April 21, 2009. Filed under: News stories, Providers | Tags: , |

The Practice | Hillingdon PCT | News | 21 April 2009

The Practice plc, through its associated company The Practice Surgeries Ltd, has further expanded its growing network of GP practices with a new surgery in West London. Yeading Lane Medical Centre in Hillingdon adds to the company’s existing local presence and comes on board as at a stage in its development where partnering with The Practice will bring significant opportunity for growth and business improvement. The Practice takes over the management from Chilvers McCrea Healthcare.

Karl Savage, Head of Surgeries at The Practice commented ‘we are very excited with this news as Yeading Lane Medical Centre will be an important addition to our growing network of surgeries. Expansion in the Hillingdon area gives the opportunity for joint working and sharing of best practice particularly with our other local GP surgery in Shakespeare Avenue. In addition it allows us to build on the clinical services we also provide into the local community.’

Over the next few weeks, The Practice will be working on an integration plan to ensure a smooth and seamless transition for patients and staff.

About The Practice plc

The Practice is a primary care company providing innovative community based healthcare for the NHS. Founded in 2005 by two GPs they are one of the UK’s leading providers of primary care services.

The Practice operates a growing network of surgeries and GP led health centres, delivering effective infrastructure which allows GPs to concentrate on their core skill of practicing medicine. As part of the nation-wide health development programme set out by Lord Darzi, the company is working with GPs and other healthcare providers to deliver GP led Health Centres and to date have been awarded contracts in Suffolk, Dorset and Hounslow, West London.

The Practice also delivers clinical services for GPs, the MOD and PCTs including Sexual Health, Ophthalmology, Dermatology, Urgent Care, OOH Leadership and Admission Avoidance as well as providing primary care in secure settings such as prisons.

For further information on this news item please contact Sarah Jeffery on 01494 690930

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GP-led firms are the big APMS winners

Posted on April 17, 2009. Filed under: GP-led health centres, News stories | Tags: , , , , , , , |

Pulse | By Gareth Iacobucci | 18 November 2008

Companies led by GPs are the big winners in the Government’s rollout of APMS services and are dominating the bidding for services across the country, a new analysis reveals.

But a new breed of business-minded GPs are blurring the boundaries between general practice and the private sector and in some cases pitting GP against GP.

One GP-led company has now secured a contract to run services hundreds of miles from the practice at which it is based, yet local GPs are often struggling to win bids.

Academics from the Health Services Management Centre, based at the University of Birmingham, found that since 2004 113 tenders had been won by new market entrants, including a long list of new born GP companies.

GP-led firms have won ‘significantly more practices than either corporate providers or social enterprises’, it adds.

Well known companies such as United Health, Atos and Care UK make up just 9% of the total figure, with GP-led companies gaining 89% of contracts, and not for profit social enterprises the remaining 2%.

But the researchers admitted it was now increasingly difficult to distinguish between GPs and private providers.

Professor Chris Ham, professor of Health Policy and Management at the University Of Birmingham, who led the research, said ‘Quite a lot of the GP bidders have turned themselves into separate companies to bid for contracts, and quite a lot of the corporate bidders have strong GP involvement. The categories we’ve been using in the past are increasingly unhelpful.’

The rise of APMS has had another controversial twist, pitching local GPs against bidders often from far afield. Pulse revealed in September that many local GPs had failed to make it past even the initial stages of bidding for Darzi centres.

Professor Ham said the research had revealed widespread concern about the quality of local bids, which had been embarrassed by more professional bids by GPs turned entrepreneurs.

‘This had created a tension between needing to ensure the conditions for open and fair competition, but wanting to support and encourage local practices to bid.’

Local GPs have often found themselves outgunned. Last week, Kent-based GP group Malling Health was announced as preferred provider for a new Darzi practice in Weston-Super-Mare, North Somerset, nearly 200 miles away.

Dr Peter Maksimczyk, a GP in Weston-super-Mare, who lost out to the Malling Health bid said: ‘I can’t see how GPs from Kent can pick up the difficulties. Practice is different in towns like Weston. It’s very difficult to see this as anything other than a complete slap in the face.’

But Dr Thomas Reichelm, development lead for Malling Health, said: ‘We’re aware there might be some initial rejection but we’re fairly confident that by meeting people in person, we’ll be able to convince them we have no bad intentions.

‘We’ve already started the process of finding out the local sensitivities and what matters locally. It’s quite refreshing to bring a new outlook and perspective.

DEFINING ‘NEW’ PRIMARY CARE PROVIDERS

GP-led companies
Companies set by GPs for the purpose of bidding for general practice and other primary care contracts. Have access to NHS pension scheme. Key players: Chilvers McCrea (37 practices), SSP Health (11 practices), Aston healthcare (9 practices), Intrahealth (8 practices)

Corporate providers
Investor owned companies, usually operating for profit. Do not have access to the NHS pension scheme. Key players: United Health UK (5 practices), Care UK, (3 practices), Atos healthcare (2 practices).

Social enterprises
Not for profit organisations – often set by groups of healthcare professionals, which reinvest any profits back into the organisation. NHS staff still transferring into new social enterprises and delivering NHS care can stay in the NHS pension scheme. Current players: Central Nottinghamshire Clinical Services, (Nottingham) Willow Bank (Stoke)

Source: Health Services Management Centre – Choice and Competition in Primary Care: Much ado about nothing?

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