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Independents' Day

Mental health trust to run GP practices alongside GP provider company

A mental health trust and a GP provider company will jointly run five GP practices over the next 15 years after they won an APMS contract bid.

The two contracts will cover 21,500 patients in total from 1 April, including a group of four GP practices and a walk-in centre.

Primary Care Sheffield - which calls itself a ’GP led, social purpose company spanning the majority of Sheffield practices’ - said they wanted patients to not have to go to two different doctors for their physical and mental health needs.

As a result, they decided to bid jointly with the Sheffield Health and Social Care NHS Foundation Trust when the contracts in the city came up for renewal.

The contract for the Clover Group of four GP practices was already held by the mental health trust, but they have added the Sheffield City GP Medical Centre, a walk-in centre which also registers patients.

Primary Care Sheffield director Dr Julie Endacott said the mental health care trust’s work was already ‘very closely linked with GP services’.

She said the practices were based in deprived areas of Sheffield where there was a high prevalence of mental illness and also physical long-term conditions which can impact on a patient’s mental health.

Dr Endacott added: ‘These contracts were out to tender and we believe we need to work closely with our care trust so we decided to submit a joint bid with them. They have a lot to offer with regards to looking after severely mentally ill patients and mentally ill patients in the community, which is very closely linked to what GPs do.

’We felt that because there were so many similarities, we needed to join up services so that patients get a better deal and their physical and mental health needs are looked after together and they don’t have to go see two different doctors.’

Dr Endacott, a local GP whose provider company already runs a £9.3m seven-day access pilot as part of the second-wave Prime Minister’s Challenge Fund, said the joint venture would also be willing to take on the contracts of more GP practices in future.

Sheffield Health and Social Care NHS Foundation Trust chief executive Kevan Taylor said: ’This partnership is an innovation for Sheffield and we are proud to be at the forefront of devising better access to primary care.

‘As a trust we are committed to improving the physical health of our service users and we believe that by working together, with our partners in the city, we can have a significant, positive impact on people’s physical wellbeing.’

Readers' comments (10)

  • Given we have a non-existent mental health service in most parts of the UK, perhaps the trust should focus on, err, mental health services first?

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  • Sorry but where I work we look after the physical and mental health needs of our patients already -it's called being a GP. What we don't have is a mental health service worthy of the title. I assume your duty Dr will be as available as your Crisis team - i.e. never sees anyone and any concerns send them straight to A&E?

    "Seeing two different doctors"… so psychiatrist is going to suddenly take bloods, even begin to examine the patient or am I missing something we do every day already??!!

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  • I don't really understand the premise that one doctor will deal with both physical and mental health conditions? Don't primary care doctors do this anyway? Unless you mean that secondary care psychiatrists will do all the GP stuff ( which they are not good at doing). I don't get it. Is this attached to a new training scheme and pathway?

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  • is it really a '15 year' APMS contract? seems a bit unlikely

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  • What were the terms of this contract? There is a Public Interest to know. How does its capitation payment compare to standard GMS?

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  • Is that a GP in the stock photo next to this article?
    Caption competition:
    'No matter how many people join our integrated team, why is it I am the only person available on a friday afternoon to see this patient with a personality disorder when she attends threatening to harm herself.'

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  • The longer the contract, the more mess its already in. Its only this long if you have a lot of steaming heap to clear before you start.

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  • Headline alternatives: "Mental health trust suggest that GPs DIY if they want crisis response for their patients.'

    GP Fed here = SOLD. A. PUP.

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  • Under GP Fundholding we bought in a superb service: CPNs and even a psychologist seeing our patients in our premises, then some Jurassic socialist abolished it.Years later, we are stuck with a sub standard service and no ability despite the CCG's best efforts, to influence it.

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  • So patients need a better deal? - Then it is strongly recommended that, all who have serious and sincere concerns, read two outstanding, thoroughly researched and referenced books from 2015. These are written by internationally acclaimed and prize wining senior academics, at the very top of their professional seniority and excellence They are: -

    1) Deadly Psychiatry and Organised Denial.
    Professor Peter C. Gotzsche .

    2) Psychiatry Under the Influence. Institutional Corruption,
    Social Injury and Prescriptions for Reform.
    Robert Whitaker and Lisa Cosgrove.

    There is an increasing international demand that those who
    deliver "Mental Health Services" throughout the developed world,
    must seriously address issues of major and widespread, user
    reports of alleged, adverse outcomes and scrutinise their own
    (allegedly) dysfunctional institutions.

    This comment is GLOBAL and does NOT criticise any individual
    commissioning organisation or provider.

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