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Independents' Day

Practices invited to bid for £5bn voluntary GP contract

GPs and other healthcare providers have been invited by NHS Dudley CCG to bid for the first voluntary GP contract that has been put out to tender. 

Under the contract, worth up to £5.4bn, the successful bidder will be expected to deliver a range of services including urgent and end-of-life care to more than 300,000 patients for 15 years.

The plans will create the first 'multispecialty community provider' (MCP), the new model of expanded general practice launched by former Prime Minister David Cameron as a ‘voluntary contract’ in 2015.

In addition to a range of healthcare services and taking on ‘activities currently carried out by the CCG’, such as financial management and IT, the provider may also be asked to take on services currently provided by local government, the notice of tender says.

In addition, ‘during the lifetime of the contract’ the provider could also be asked to deliver services currently commissioned by the voluntary sector and ‘any other related ancillary services’ to public health.

The provider will also be expected to manage 'emergency admissions from care homes and/or admissions attributable to falls or ambulatory care sensitive conditions', the tender document adds.

Paul Maubach, head of the Dudley MCP pilot project, said that while GPs are invited to bid for the contract, they will not be successful by themselves as they 'don't have the range of skills and experience to provide the full range of services provided by the MCP'.

GPs could partner with local foundation trusts, including Birmingham Community Healthcare Foundation Trust and Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust, or healthcare companies such as Virgin Care Ltd to provide the full range of services.

Mr Maubach said the site is an 'extensive MCP model' that not only includes primary and community services but also services that are traditionally delivered in a hospital setting.

He said: 'We think, with all the evidence, that it really delivers better patient care and it also really delivers much better clinical relationships and integration between GPs and other parts of the system.'

Bids for the contract will close on 13 July, with the contract coming into effect on 1 April 2018, a full year after NHS England’s six MCP pilot areas were expected to launch.

The contract is valued at a range of between £3.5bn and £5.4bn depending on the extent to which local GPs are integrated with the MCP.

The Dudley MCP pilot currently includes all 46 GP practices that are members of NHS Dudley CCG but when the contract goes live, they can choose whether they want to 'fully' or 'partially' integrate with the MCP - the latter version enabling them to retain their current GMS/PMS contract.

Dr Richard Vautrey, deputy chair of the BMA's GP committee, urged GPs to be cautious when considering 'moving to a time-limited contract'.

He said: 'The key issue is that whilst the MCP model is being promoted in some areas, we would contend that there are many other ways that practices can collaborate both with one another and with other organisations and social care within their area without necessarily putting their long-term GMS/PMS contract in jeopardy.

'Once a practice has moved into an MCP arrangement it certainly risks the long-term viability of their contract so they need to be absolutely confident that that's the right choice for them and their patients and also their successors because this is a once-in-a-generation change that they will be making.'

This could be one of the largest NHS service tenders after NHS Manchester CCGs sought to procure a 10-year contract covering all non-acute care for £6bn.

It comes as Pulse has previously revealed that GPs on the new contract may face financial penalties applied if they fail to improve local population health or if patients are dissatisfied.

Readers' comments (18)

  • Something isn't right with these figures, presumably its 5.4 billion for 300,000 patients, which adds up to around £2000 per patient per year, which is current spending. Let's hope its linked to inflation otherwise they're doomed!

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  • Risk your GMS or PMs for this? Not worth it!!

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  • WHY ???

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  • Vinci Ho

    Why do you think Capita managed to win its contract from this government?
    The answer is written all over the wall.
    I've been studying in word cheap in my dictionary....

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  • I think I'll apply - I've got a gap in my surgery

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  • Medicine is losing its professional quality at a rate of knots. Doctors employed by this monstrous creation will be relegated to a "skilled workforce" capacity which is the natural downwards progression from "clinician". Depending on where you sit this may be good or bad but whatever ones feeling this is inescapable. As ever - up-skill and diversify.

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  • I wouldn't touch that with a barge pole. It all goes t*ts up and you're on your own. Don't expect the CCG to come and rescue you...

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  • Maverick

    Lets get this straight. General Practice is dead. Stop bickering about MCP contracts blah blah, new CQC demands blah blah, unfair indemnity blah blah, and on and on and on blah blah blah. Take a long hard look at your quality of life and what you are trying to achieve for yourself and your family. Being a GP is just a job. Don't bother yourself with cradle to grave Balint / Neighbour bollocks.... not worth a jot... Do you want to stay in GP? Ans yes.... good for you.... stop complaining and get on with the job on offer... Ans no... good for you.... quit right now... it's bad and getting worse.
    Just leave. Nobody's listening, nobody cares. Life in GP land is shockingly appalling and about to get so much worse.. what are you waiting for? Why do you keep bleating on and on and on and on about how woefully you've been treated... there is a message amongst all of this government / CCG / LMC / NHSE / CQC / RCGP / MCP / CCPRD / FU*K O*F world and the message is ... we will continue to abuse and mistreat our NHS doctors and nurses until the pips squeak and then we'll abuse them some more because we can and we don't give a shit. So stop dreaming about a utopian GP wonderworld... it's not coming.. Get out if you can ... and if you can't ... get out anyway, because if you don't, what you imagined in your worst nightmare just came true... The ball and chain of GP is not worth it. Get out and live your life. You're a long time dead..

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  • Its people like you who put all new graduates off general practice. You can't see solutions or opportunities if it hits you in the face. Youre negative, cynical and extremely antagonistic. You probably choose into the wrong career hence the miserablity !! It might actually surprise you that there is lot of doctors who enjoy medicine, enjoy looking after their patients from cradle to grave, welcome the satisfying yet challenging environment and that being a doctor and a GP isn't a 9-5 job but a vocation.

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  • Risky and enslaving as a commitment especially working with trusts or private corporates.

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