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Independents' Day

Private provider proposes national commissioning consortium

By Gareth Iacobucci

A private provider has unveiled a fresh attempt to develop a commissioning consortium spanning geographical boundaries – despite previous Department of Health attempts to block the move.

Intrahealth, which runs a host of GP surgeries and GP-led health centres across England, wants to create a consortium of its ten practices in the North East to cover almost 44,000 patients.

A proposal submitted by the company to NHS North East said the plan could also be expanded to include the company's other practices, which operate in areas such as Wolverhampton and Wigan.

The proposal says: 'It challenges the notion of working in geographical clusters and opts for a model based on working with likeminded practices. The plan would be to bring other IntraHealth practices into the consortium in the medium to long term. Entry would also be made possible for other like minded practices.'

The move comes despite the Government rejecting similar proposals from The Practice Plc, which had to shelve plans to launch a national commissioning consortium after the DH said it would be inappropriate for a consortium to be made up from 'lots of disparate places'.

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