GP warns over private provider complacency
Dr Frank Barrett has warned GPs not to be complacent about the threat of private providers.
Dr Barrett, a GP in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, told the LMCs conference the simple loss of a partner could prompt a PCT to put a practice out to tender.
His comments came after a judge dismissed a judicial review into North Eastern Derbyshire PCT's decision to bring in US-based UnitedHealth Europe to run two local practices.
Dr Barrett's wife Elizabeth, a GP in Derby, was a leading campaigner against the decision after the PCT failed to even shortlist her bid.
Mr Justice Collins agreed the PCT's consultation was 'flawed' and advised that trusts must consult patients on any changes to GP services. But he said the failure to consult 'would not have been likely to make any difference'.
Dr Barrett said: 'What happened here could happen to any practice – all you need is for a partner to leave and have no partnership deed, and the PCT can refuse to give your contract back.'