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Our anger is not sour grapes

Dr Elizabeth Barrett is among the GPs who lost out to UnitedHealth Europe in the bidding process, but she says local GPs' concern over its victory is not sour grapes.

'This is far bigger than me throwing my toys out of the pram,' she says. 'Patient choice is a smokescreen for a secretive privatisation programme.'

Dr Barrett, a GP in Shirebrook, said it was disingenuous of the PCT to describe United as a 'young British company'. Lack of adequate consultation helped skew the level playing field GPs were promised, she added. The decision to allow United to run both practices also went against patient choice as patients in Langwith no longer wanted to be a branch of Cresswell, Dr Barrett said.

She said: 'This will be the tail wagging the dog. UHE is far bigger than the PCT ­ do they really think they can keep it under control?'

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