Take Care Now set for takeover

Posted on February 18, 2010. Filed under: News stories, Providers | Tags: , , |

Healthcare Republic | Susie Sell | 18 February 2010

Private out-of-hours provider Take Care Now is set to be taken over by larger private firm Harmoni, after heads of agreement have been signed between the two companies.

David Cocks, chief executive of TCN, suggested the future of the company is ‘best placed with a larger organisation’.

He said: ‘Harmoni is a key operator in the delivery of healthcare services to the NHS in England. They are of a size and scale which enables them to take the work TCN has done in delivering timely and appropriate care forward to the next stage.”

Dr Tony Snell, medical director of Harmoni, said: ‘We are delighted to have the opportunity to provide primary urgent care out of hours services to patients across these new areas of the country for Harmoni.

‘We believe that Harmoni will be able to provide strong business management and leadership, safe systems and processes based on our experience elsewhere, and the right level of support to enable them to deliver the best quality service possible for local people.”

Harmoni currently delivers services to more than 7 million patients on behalf of around 20 PCTs predominately located in south England and the West Midlands. TCN provides health services to around 1.5 million patients.

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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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Take Care Now loses second out-of-hours contract

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

Pulse | By Gareth Iacobucci | 21 December 2009

An private out-of-hours provider which came under fire over the death of a patient under the care of one of its foreign locum GPs has lost its second contract in a matter of weeks.

NHS Suffolk has announced it will not renew its contract with Take Care Now – which is due to expire in March 2010 – and has chosen Harmoni to take over out-of-hours responsibility in the county.

Take Care Now, which is based in Suffolk, has been under growing pressure following the death of 70-year-old David Gray last year, who died after being given an accidental overdose by German doctor Dr Daniel Ubani, working his first out-of-hours shift in the UK for the company in Cambridgeshire.

The contract is the second lost by the firm in recent weeks, after it had its contract with NHS Cambridgeshire terminated prematurely last month after failing new spot checks.

It follows a damning report on the David Gray case by the Care Quality Commission, which urged PCTs across the country to place closer scrutiny the performance of GP out-of-hours services, or risk failing to spot serious patient safety issues.

Andrew Hassan, medical director at NHS Suffolk, said: ‘The panel felt the arrangements of this provider [Harmoni] for clinical governance were robust and safe, its quality of care arrangements strong, and ideas for improvement and development of a quality service innovative.’

‘We would like to reassure people across Suffolk that during the transition period between service providers, we will make sure that the safety of patients using the service, and their clinical care, remains our top priority.’

A spokesman for Take Care Now said: ‘Take Care Now has expressed disappointment at not having been re-awarded the contract to run the out-of-hours service for NHS Suffolk but has committed to continuing to deliver innovative and patient-centred care in other areas for NHS Suffolk.’

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Large out-of-hours provider merges with GP co-op

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

Healthcare Republic | By Neil Durham | 21 October 2009

An out-of-hours provider looking after more than a tenth of England’s population has merged with a GP co-operative.

Harmoni is commissioned by over 20 NHS PCTs to provide services for six million people including out-of-hours, GP-led health centres and urgent care centres.

It merges with Thamesdoc, a GP co-operative providing out-of-hours cover and other urgent care services to patients in Surrey and parts of West Sussex and Hampshire.

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.’

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.’ 

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Newham Primary Care Social Enterprise

Posted on August 5, 2009. Filed under: Press/News Releases, Providers, Social enterprise | Tags: |

Harmoni | Newham PCT | accessed 5 August 2009

The company’s activities will aim to improve the lives of people living in of Newham. There are some areas of Newham which are under-Doctored and have problems accessing primary care physicians. We believe that a Social Enterprise Company, which has at its core 160 GPs in 60 practices covering 265,000 patients, is ideally placed to bid for and deliver primary care services. We will aim to improve access and develop new services that will benefit patients and increase their life expectancy.  We will take an holistic approach to Healthcare. We will work with the PCT Commissioners to initiate a wide range of services to improve health in the community and to ensure that these are easily accessible by patients when they need them. Initially we will bid to provide a combined Urgent care Centre and Polyclinic.

 

In the future we will broaden our focus to incorporate the management of Long term Conditions in the Community. We will work with other organisations to ensure engagement with social services, the voluntary sector, education, and to improve diet, exercise & health education. This will be focussed on the specific health needs of this diverse, yet integrated community and will deliver focussed care from a company whose GP members are entrenched in the community.

 

The SEC will be a partnership between Newham GPs and Harmoni, an independent sector Health Care company which specialises in Primary Care. Harmoni was a GP-Co-operative and has in excess of 400 GPs as its shareholders. The GPs will be the majority shareholders of the SEC and will hold 60% of the shares to Harmoni’s 40%. It is axiomatic that all of our services will be free at the point of delivery to patients.

 

We will adopt an ethical approach to our Health Care business. The combination of local knowledge and National capability will enable the ideas and vision of the local GPs, with their unrivalled knowledge of the community, to be brought to fruition. This will be to the benefit of their patients and the community as a whole. We will ensure that there is considerable patient feedback and involvement in the creation and ongoing delivery of our services. As a SEC we are committed to the benefit of the local community and we understand that we must engage regularly with all elements of the community to ensure that our ethos is maintained. 

 

Newham Primary Care (NPC) will strive for the highest standards in all that we do. We will re-invest surpluses in the company to ensure that the growth of Newham Primary Care is inextricably linked with an improvement to healthcare services in the community

 

The board members of NPC are:

 

Drs Jim Lawrie and Bhupinder Kohli   (NB No links to Jim and Bhupinder as yet)

 

Steve Turner (Chairman) and Andrew Gardner.

 

NPC is creating a community board, comprising representatives from a wide variety of Newham’s population. This board will be chaired by Louise Patten and she will report directly to the board, thus ensuring that the board are kept full up to date as to issues in the community.

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Medicare Medical Services LLP

Posted on August 5, 2009. Filed under: GP-led health centres, Press/News Releases, Providers | Tags: |

Harmoni | Enfield PCT | accessed 5 August 2009

Medicare Medical Services LLP (MMS) has been established as a Joint Venture between HWH and Equity Health LLP. We are delighted to have been awarded the contract for the GP Led Health Centre situated at the Evergreen Primary Care Centre, which goes live on 01 July 2009.

Equity Health LLP, which holds 60% of the shares in MMS, is owned by 4 Enfield GPs holding lists within Barnet, Enfield and Haringey. The GPs are Drs Sanjay Patel, Anshumen Bhagat, Mohammed Abedi and Alpesh Patel. The combined list size of these 4 GPs is in excess of 25,000 registered patients

 

They are partnered by HWH Group Limited, which holds the remaining 40% of the shares. HWH is the holding company of Harmoni HS Limited which provides unscheduled Out of Hours services for West London and many other areas of the UK Although Harmoni itself is a private company, it is 50% owned by GPs and started life as a GP Co-operative. It provides Health Care services for over 5 million patients in the UK.

 

The Directors of MMS LLP are Drs Anshumen Bhagat and Alpesh Patel from Equity Health LLP and Dr Nizar Merali and Mr Steve Turner from Harmoni. Dr Merali is the chairman of the company, the Managing Director is Dr Sanjay Patel and the Local Medical Director is Mohammed Abedi.

 

Although we are a new company, we have a vision for the future of Healthcare in Enfield. We intend to adopt an ethical approach to our Health Care business and will ensure that we enable all members of the community to have easy access to our services. We will ensure that we provide services of the highest quality and will be innovative in our approach to local issues. We know that the vision of the local GPs, with their unrivalled knowledge of the community and the National capability of Harmoni, will enable our vision to be brought to fruition. This will be to the benefit of their patients and the community as a whole. We will ensure that there is considerable patient feedback and involvement in the creation and ongoing delivery of our services.

 

Harmoni is structured to ensure strong local management and clinical leadership in all of its service contracts. They have their own Patient Services or PALS service which works closely with the NHS PALS departments to ensure all patient feedback is managed in a professional and timely manner. Harmoni complies with NHS standards for the management of complaints.

 

The  4 GPs of Equity Health are all experienced principal GPs who have a proven track record for delivering high quality primary care services. The partnership has a broad range of skills which include:
• 1GP is the Clinical Director for the local Out of Hours organisation
• 1GP was the founding member and director for the first  local Out of Hours Not for Profit Co-op in Enfield
• 1GP is the Director of  private medical services company with a proven track record in delivering cost-effective primary care services in the private sector and have vast experience in the Private –NHS interface
• 1 GP is an accredited Under and Post Graduate trainer 
• All 4 GPs are trained in community anticoagulation
• 1 GP is trained in Sexual health and family planning

 

We look forward to treating you at the Evergreen Health centre and would welcome any comments that you have regarding our services.

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Hillingdon Health Limited

Posted on August 5, 2009. Filed under: Press/News Releases, Providers | Tags: |

Harmoni | Hillingdon PCT | accessed 5 August 2009

Hilllingdon Health Limited [“HHL”] was created in January 2007 and has been set up as a Joint Venture vehicle between Harmoni and Hillingdon GP practices.  The shareholders of HHL are Harmoni and Hillingdon GP Limited (which is wholly owned by Hillingdon GPs holding lists within Hillingdon).  The shareholders include in excess of 97% of the total registered patients of Hillingdon on their patient lists.  Harmoni and the local GPs have each appointed 2 non-exec directors to the Board.

 

The Managing Director is Steve Turner supported by Dr Kuldhir Johal, the  Medical Director for the Scheduled Pathway Management Service (Quartet) and Dr Chris Jowett who is the Medical Director for the Urgent Care Centre.

In its first year of trading, HHL had a turnover of £1.5m and has two contracts with Hillingdon PCT. These are an Urgent Care Centre (UCC) and a Scheduled Pathway Management Service (Quartet).

 

The UCC has been operational at the front end of Hillingdon Hospital since April 2007. We worked in partnership with the Hospital and PCT to deliver the service on time and all partners made a positive contribution to our achieving challenging the start date. The good relationship between A&E staff, those working in the UCC and the PCT continues to thrive.

 

At the first annual review of the UCC the PCT made the following comments; “The UCC has contributed to the improvement in the patient experience for patients with minor illness and has made a positive contribution to the achievement of the 4 hour standard.  For those patients triaged to the UCC for treatment the average time of arrival to first seen is 19 minutes, compared to an average time of 93 minutes for patients waiting to be seen by A&E. This converted into a total average arrival to discharge time of 29.4 minutes in the UCC.

 

Patient satisfaction surveys completed by the UCC have demonstrated patients to have had a positive experience of treatment by the UCC. Excellent through put times have contributed to this positively. The differences between Hospital activity in 2006/07 and 2007/08, show that there has been a 29% reduction in Low Cost Investigations and a 5% drop in admissions via A&E.” 

 

The service is now an integral part of the day to day life of the hospital, but there are still challenges that we have to meet. Initially the thruput of patients was much less than originally anticipated. However, over the last 9 months we have seen the UCC take a much larger proportion of Primary Care Patients, thus showing the importance of a UCC in managing demandwithin a healthcare environment. With the UCC in situ the PCT has accurate and validated data of the proportion of patients who present to A&E with Primary care conditions.

 

Quartet the Scheduled Pathway Management Service, HHL’s second contract, went live on 21 January 2008. Initial work on the system started on 17 December 2007, paused for 7 days over Xmas and then re-started in earnest on 02 January 2008. After 4 weeks work a manual only system was implemented on 21 January, with the C&B and limited IT functionality achieved on 18 February. This was achieved 3 weeks ahead of the agreed schedule.
 
Phase 2 of the IT system went live on 13 May.  It took into account feedback from practices, THH and other related parties.  This latest upgrade enables all data from GP referral letters to be imported directly into the data-base. There is a fully electronic process, with outgoing e-mails and faxes generated automatically in an electronic format from within the system.

 

HHL will soon be providing a booking service for Community Based service to be provided by independent 3rd Parties and is also working with the PCT to start providing clinical triage to support Community Based Services as and when they are commissioned.

 

HHL has just completed its second year of trading and its annual turnover has increased to £1.6 million.

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Harmoni

Posted on August 5, 2009. Filed under: GP-led health centres, Press/News Releases, Providers | Tags: |

Harmoni | GP-led Health Centre | accessed 5 August 2009

Harmoni is at the  forefront of delivering the new generation of GP Led Health Centres.  Since 2008, we have been awarded contracts to deliver GP Led Health Centres in North Somerset and Enfield as a Joint Venture partnership with local GPs.  In addition, Harmoni as a single entity has also been awarded contracts to deliver these centres in North East Essex and Stoke.

 

The GP Led Health Centre in North Somerset started to provide healthcare services in March 2009.  To visit the local website of the Weston GP Healthcare Centre please click here.

 

The GP Led Health Centre in North East Essex started to provide healthcare services on 1st June 2009.  To visit the local website of the North Colchester Healthcare Centre please click here

 

The GP Led Health Centre in Enfield started to provide healthcare services on 1st July 2009.  To Visit the local website site of the Edmonton GP Health Centre please click here

 

The GP Led Health Centre in Stoke will start to provide healthcare services by the end of 2009. 

 

Health Minister Mike O’Brien has officially opened Harmoni’s North Colchester Healthcare Centre

Harmoni | North East Essex PCT | News | 6 July 2009

The North Colchester Healthcare Centre was the 50th fully operational GP-led health centre to be opened in England.

 

The Healthcare Centre is open from 7am to 10pm seven days a week, and offers a range of extra services including a minor injuries service and phlebotomy service.

 

A total of 2,629 patients have used the centre in its first four weeks, on either a walk-in or registered patient basis.

 

Mr O’Brien said the new centre would make a ‘huge difference’ to access for local patients. ‘Centre’s like this one are opening up and down the country, complementing services provided by existing practices and are already proving popular with patients, who have told us that they want to be able to see a GP at times convenient to them,’ he said.

 

Dr Paul Zollinger-Read, a GP and chief executive of NHS North East Essex, said: ‘We have been delighted with the response of patients attending the centre and have received many favorable comments. The fact the average weekly attendance is more than 100 up on the last month at the old walk-in centre suggests accessibility is not an issue.’

 

‘We have an expanding population and this new service will help ensure we continue to provide the best possible health services to the people of North East Essex.’

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