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At the heart of general practice since 1960

LMCs set up bidding company

By Steve Nowottny

The country's largest group of LMCs aims to help GPs to take on the private sector by setting up a new company to provide back-office support for contract bids.

Londonwide LMCs, which represents more than 6,000 GPs across the capital, is launching the venture as a not-for-profit alternative to commercial organisations that offer similar services to practices.

Londonwide Enterprise, which will be formally established as a subsidiary company of Londonwide LMCs within the next few weeks, will offer access to specialist services in areas such as accountancy, marketing and legal advice.

Advice on tendering for new contracts will also be available, helping practices compete with private providers for APMS contracts and other services.

The expert advice will be commissioned mainly from third party providers and offered to practices on a paid-for basis.

Dr Michelle Drage, joint chief executive of Londonwide LMCs, said the Healthcare for London project and move towards GP federations or networked ‘polysystems' had created ‘huge demand for this type of work'.

‘This is an opportunity [for practices] to be part of the proactive approach to change that might otherwise be foisted upon them such as the networking of practices and the development of large supra-practice organisations,' she said.

Dr Drage said that while GPs should not rule g out using services provided by commercial organisations, Londonwide Enterprise had been set up along not-for-profit lines, that any income generated would be ‘ploughed back into practices'.

‘We're in the not-for-profit market, and we would use other providers that supported that model,' she said. ‘This is GPs supporting GPs.'

Londonwide LMCs now looks after the interests of 26 LMCs across the capital, after last week adding Redbridge and Waltham Forest LMCs to its register.

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