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At the heart of general practice since 1960

Fradd and Chisholm take on two practices

By Helen Crump

Two of the GP architects of the new contract are taking advantage of the market they helped

create after winning contracts to take over a pair of PCT-run practices.

Concordia Health, set up by Dr John Chisholm, former GPC chair, and Dr Simon Fradd, former deputy chair, is to run the practices in south London.

Dr Chisholm and Dr Fradd were members of the original GPC negotiating team for the new GMS contract, which opened the door to increased competition in primary care.

But their victory has upset GPs at the Melbourne Grove practice in Southwark, one of those being taken over.

The GPs told Pulse they were 'disappointed' at missing out on the chance to run the practice they had spent the past two years building up.

Dr Stephen Johnson, a sal-aried GP at the practice, said: 'We took over the practice, which had been in a very bad state about two-and-a-half years ago and we've worked hard to build it up to being successful.

'We applied for the tender and obviously we're very disappointed we didn't get it.'

Dr Chisholm said he could understand the incumbent GPs' disappointment, but as the practice was PCT-run his

company was not taking over a partnership. He added that he had not envisaged taking

on other practices in future while he was negotiating the contract.

Dr Chisholm said: 'We were keen to respond to and make use of the flexibilities and opportunities that have flowed from the new contract.'

Dr Fradd said the company would look to take on further contracts, but fellow GPs should not feel threatened.

He said: 'GPs should be seen as the people that other people have to see off, not the other way round.

'It's very hard for organisations with no experience of general practice to come in and see us off. I hope people will take heart from this.'

Andrew Lockhart-Mirams, senior partner at the BMA's solicitors Lockharts, is also a director of Concordia Health.

The Parkside and Melbourne Grove practices will be run on PMS contracts, enabling GPs working there to qualify for NHS pensions.

A contract for a third PCT-run practice in the area, Sternhall Lane, was won by the Hurley group of practices, a large GP partnership in neighbouring Lambeth. One of its members is Dr Clare Gerada MBE,

director of primary care for the NHS National Clinical Governance Support Team.

hcrump@cmpinformation.com

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