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Gold, incentives and meh

All our hard work could be snatched away


Dr Ashley Liston and his colleagues fear a private firm will be allowed to snatch away the surgery they have spent two years improving.

Dr Liston and another salaried GP have transformed the PCT-run practice in Washington, Tyne and Wear, from a state where it had no GPs to a fully-staffed training practice.

But now they have been told by Sunderland Teaching PCT there is 'considerable' interest from the private sector and it may be put out to tender.

Dr Liston said he applied with his colleague to take over the Encompass practice in June 2005, but had seen no progress.

He said: 'It's the principle of putting out to tender a well-run practice ­ it's jeopardising good patient care. The patients are mystified. We trust the tender process will be open and defensible but we are increasingly concerned.

'We haven't heard of a single independent GP who has been successful against a big private firm.'

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