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Recession forces Chilvers McCrea to drop APMS contract

By Gareth Iacobucci

A squeeze on bank lending is forcing private providers to ditch APMS contracts, Pulse can reveal.

Chilvers McCrea Healthcare, which manages over 30 practices across the UK, has been forced to terminate its contact to run an APMS practice in Essex because of the tough economic climate.

It is the latest in a series of private sector withdrawals from primary care which appear to pose a serious threat to the Government's drive to ramp up competition.

The company's decision to stop running the Pier Medical Centre in Southend, which includes two surgeries, comes just weeks after its chair, Dr Rory McCrea, warned GPs would find it increasingly difficult to make a profit on APMS contracts.

South East Essex PCT is now having to search for a new provider for the contract, which runs out in 2010.

Dr McCrea told Pulse: ‘Due to the current economic climate, it was not sustainable for Chilvers McCrea Healthcare to carry on the contract to manage the practice.

‘Chilvers McCrea, like many companies across all sectors, is debt funded and currently banks are going through a period of being nervous about lending.'

A spokesman for the PCT said: ‘ChilversMcCrea is continuing to deliver services until 2010. During this time we will secure a new provider through the procurement process to ensure there is a seamless transfer of services.'

The move comes after private firm Atos Healthcare recently pulled out of running an APMS practice in Berkshire due to the financial climate and low demand for services.

Both Atos and United Health also dropped out of the running for a tender in Sheffield prior to the award of the contract.

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