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UnitedHealth's first practice open

UnitedHealth Europe has officially begun providing services from its first practice in the UK, the Normanton Medical Centre in Derbyshire.

The US-based giant plans to increase opening hours and offer better long-term conditions at the practice, which was put out to tender after the retirement of a local GP.

UnitedHealth was recently stopped from taking over two other practices in the region after the Court of Appeal ruled that North Eastern Derbyshire PCT failed to properly consult patients on bids.

The Normanton practice will employ one-and-a-half full-time equivalent GPs, a nurse practitioner and healthcare assistant.

Dr Pete Smith, director of

primary care for UnitedHealth Europe, said: 'It will be run differently from a normal single- handed practice as it will have far more input from a wide range of professionals. We will be increasing opening hours as there are a lot of patients who are working.'

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