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Assura wins its first GP-led health centre

By Steve Nowottny

Private provider Assura Group has won its first GP-led health centre contract – in partnership with a team of local GPs.

NHS Coventry has announced it has selected Assura Coventry LLP, a 50:50 joint venture partnership between Assura Group and nine local practices, to run its new GP-led health centre in Coventry city centre.

The centre will be operated on a day-to-day basis by NHS Coventry's provider arm, Coventry Community Health Services. The new centre will be integrated with the existing NHS walk-in centre on the Coventry and Warwickshire Hospital site, and Assura plans to subcontract both the GP and walk-in service.

Dr Ian MacDonald, a Coventry GP and chairman of Assura Coventry LLP, said: ‘The new service will provide greater access and convenience for patients by offering extended hours service, seven days a week. Assura Coventry was set up with local GPs to provide more services and choice for patients. It is run by local doctors for local people.'

NHS Coventry has also announced that its two new GP surgeries, procured as part of health minister Lord Darzi's drive to increase GP provision in underdoctored areas, will be run by Kent-based GP group Malling Health.

Last month Malling Health won a contract almost 200 miles away from its base in Weston-super-Mare, north Somerset, and the group has also been selected to run a further four surgeries within Kent.

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