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Another trust in talks to take over five practices

A hospital trust in the North-West is in talks to take over five practices in the St Helens area, with GPs becoming employees of the trust. 

St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals Trust is considering taking over the contracts of several practices in St Helens, according to an interview with its chief executive.

Chief executive Ann Marr told HSJ that she hoped the trust will be running a total of six APMS practices in the next two years and explained that the model needed more practices to run efficiently.

It follows trusts in Gosport, Wolverhampton and Northumberland taking over GP practices. 

St Helens trust took over Marshalls Cross Medical Centre in September 2017, which lists over 5,000 patients. Ms Marr said the model consists of practices voluntarily giving up their contracts, becoming employees of the trust and allowing the trust to run all the back-office services.

She said: ‘We’re now talking to other practices because running one isolated practice isn’t enough for the model to work effectively.

‘I would hope probably within the next two years we’ll have six practices, who will all have voluntarily joined us because they see benefits in the model.

‘By joining the trust, they won’t have all the back-office responsibilities, so things like HR, infection control, information governance, payroll and so on, are all done for them and it’s preferable for GPs who don’t want the responsibility and distraction of running a practice.’

It is not known which practices the trust is in talks with.

A trust spokesperson told Pulse that it is integral to work with the relevant primary care networks to ‘support the shared aim of sustainable primary care service to our local population.’

They said: ‘Discussions are ongoing with a number of local GP practices regarding potential integration with the Trust, all at varying stages of development. Working with the relevant primary care networks will be integral to support the shared aim of sustainable primary care service to our local population.

‘Integrated GP practices will benefit from access to the hospital support infrastructure and an extended range of services, allowing GP’s to focus on delivering care to patients in the right place at the right time.’

Elsewhere, a foundation trust in Birmingham will soon take over three practices with a combined list size of around 15,000.

According to GP leaders, the previous private provider chose not to rebid for the APMS contract and the trust decided to take over.

Last year, an NHS trust in Wolverhampton took over its ninth GP practice.

Readers' comments (7)

  • I guess this is the death knell of traditional general practice in St.Helens then. The CCG wants us all to be the same - so I expect we will all be forced down this route at some point in the near future.

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  • 'running one isolated practice isn't enough for the model to work effectively'

    The model doesn't work effectively at any level.

    Though you can keep the delusion going for a long time though within a large organisation. If only there were more practices, or if we organised them like this, or if we do away with the GPs, or if we do computer consultations...

    'Other practices have seen how well it works' and so want to join; is that with consistent with your other statement?

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  • Nhsfatcat

    Good luck to the trusts. If we work a 40 hour week with paid study leave and 5 weeks annual leave we need 1 GP for every 1700 patients to cover the current demand for appointments. This is to provide 15 minute appointments without admin time and 8 hours of F2F contacts a day.

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  • please-delete-this-fucking-profile-i-cant-delete-it-in-my-account-settings

    sick of general practice, it isn't worth shit
    it's a boring, underpaid dead end career
    going nowhere.

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  • Does anybody know how much these salaried gps earn? And sight of their contracts would be very interesting.

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  • sorry to hear that locum x. some of us partners love general practice, its just shameful that what was once the jewel in the nhs crown is being left to wither.

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  • Pulse give us a nice article on the shambles in Swindon with IMH. There’s another 5 practices there who are in need of some TLC...along with the roughly 58000 patients there. Once again zero accountability for the corrupt fools at the ccg who commissioned this joke of a “service” in the first place and even less for the goons at the cqc who supposedly “regulated” them all these months

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