This site is intended for health professionals only

At the heart of general practice since 1960

Read the latest issue online

CAMHS won't see you now

Shifting GP contract to private provider 'increased costs by 64%'

The procurement of an APMS contract to a private provider - after the closure of a GMS practice - meant costs to the NHS increased by 64%, shows figures obtained by LMC leaders.

Partners at the St Lawrence Medical Practice in Braintree, Essex, were forced to hand their GMS contract back after they were unable to recruit more partners, and NHS England replaced it with an APMS contract run by Virgin Care.

An FOI to NHS England, revealed by Dr Katie Bramall-Stainer from Hertfordshire LMC at the LMCs Conference in Edinburgh, showed that the first year of the Virgin Care practice contract cost 64% more than the final 12 months of St Lawrence’s GMS contract.

The FOI, seen by Pulse, also revealed that the Sutherland Lodge practice in Essex was replaced by a Virgin Care APMS practice that increased costs by 16%. Sutherland Lodge had earlier been awarded an ‘outstanding’ rating by the CQC but was forced to close due to the PMS reviews.

The figures were announced as part of a debate on NHS England’s decision to put all new GP practices contracts out to tender under APMS – first revealed by Pulse.

Local leaders voted in favour of the motion, which called on the GPC to take legal advice to ‘challenge the notion that only APMS contracts may be awarded when procuring general medical services’.

Dr Bramall-Stainer told delegates: ‘There was the case of the “Outstanding” Essex practice that was forced into handing back their contract last year due to the enforced PMS contract review.

‘This undermines the whole ethos of long-time continuity of care.’

The FOI response from NHS England said: ‘The budget for the current APMS contract (which commenced on 1 June 2016) will exceed the actual expenditure within the last twelve months of the former GMS partnership (1 June 2014 to 31 May 2015).

‘Following the procurements of the current APMS contracts for the St Lawrence and Sutherland Lodge practices we can confirm that the procurements resulted in the following approximate percentage increases in contract value rates compared to the GMS and PMS arrangements previously in place; St Lawrence: 64%; Sutherland Lodge: 16%.’

Pulse revealed earlier this year that more practices closed in 2016 than ever before.

Virgin Care was approached for comment, but did not respond in time for publication.




Readers' comments (15)

  • Economies of scale, commercial rigour, efficient working practices. All mirages. The simple fact is that none can match the effectiveness of a 4-6(WTE) GP practice with good support staff and community service links, providing best value-for-money, high quality healthcare.
    The rest is all cant.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • "It's not personal - It's just business ."- Sollozo the Turk.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • one of our local practices called in the local hospital - asking them to run the practice and put all the GPs on consultant contracts. The hospital after a lot of deliberation - decided it couldn't afford to runt he practice for the GMS income.. and are waiting for it to go under so the CCG/NHSE give them a bung....

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • I launched a similar request to NHSE a few weeks ago re:
    (Sorry to editors - it is the competition magazine)

    No surprise, you cannot run an employee service on GMS money, you cannot & should not force employees to work for free.

    over 10 years ago:

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • In reply to Vinci Ho .
    Don't be fooled by doctrine and pledges. We were told by boris we were to get £350m a week ...
    He may not be Confucius or Karl Marx but was believed in our democracy and rewarded as a minister ... Wait for the allegations on MPs soon..

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

View results 10 results per page20 results per page

Have your say