OOH provider poised to win Darzi tender
By Gareth Iacobucci
Out-of-hours provider Urgent Care 24 looks set to win the second contract to be awarded under Lord Darzi's national polyclinic rollout, after joining forces with a neighbouring PCT provider arm.
The not for profit company, which last week revealed it had won £550,000 of public money to compete for NHS contracts, has been chosen as the preferred bidder for a GP-led centre in Knowsley PCT, one of the areas in the north west where it operates out of hours services.
The move could herald the first step towards increased integration between in-hours and out-of-hours provision of general practice.
Urgent Care 24 will run the centre, due to open in April, along with social and community care provider Knowsley Integrated Provider Services and the provider arm of Liverpool PCT.
Several out of hours providers are in the running to take on the Darzi centres, including not-for-profit providers such as Urgent Care 24 and private firms such as Harmoni, which has bid in nearly 60 PCTs.
It comes amid increasing moves by out of hours companies to re-position themselves as integrated urgent care providers under the Government's plans.
Nigel Wylie, chief executive of Urgent Care 24, said: ‘We felt there was a strategic fit. I think a lot of out-of-hours providers will see it as a legitimate extension of their work.'
The tender would also be the first win for a PCT provider arm in the Darzi centre rollout, adding to Liverpool PCT's £80m worth of provider arm contracts.
A Pulse investigation last month found PCT provider arms were bidding for APMS contracts in a quarter of trusts, despite the GPC warning of ‘a glaring conflict of interest'.Urgent Care 24-first OOH provider to win Darzi contract Urgent Care 24-first OOH provider to win Darzi contract