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The waiting game

Court suspends practice takeover

The High Court has suspended the award to UnitedHealth Europe of a contract to take over a practice in Derby.

A judge gave Eastern Derby-shire PCT a week to explain why there should not be a judicial review into its choice of UnitedHealth as preferred provider for the Creswell practice.

The decision came after Pam Smith, a patient at the practice and a local councillor, complained there had been no public consultation on the contract.

The choice of UnitedHealth provoked anger among GPs and patients as most practices that bid for the contract failed to even reach the shortlist.

Dr Rachel Tinker, a GP in Derby, whose bid was turned down, said a public debate was needed to draw attention to a fundamental change in the way the NHS operated.

She said: 'It is good that this is being challenged and not snuck in through the back door.'

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