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Private provider appointed to run three practices

NHS Leicester City CCG has appointed Spirit Healthcare Ltd to provide primary care services at three GP practices in the city.

The move was taken as part of the CCG’s re-procurement process and Spirit Healthcare started providing new services under its initial five-year APMS contracts from 1 October.

The three surgeries – Asquith Surgery, Beaumont and Rushey Mead – had previously been run on APMS contracts by Fosse Medical Centre and The Practice Group.

The private provider claims it will make use of innovative technology to help patient’s self-manage access to primary care, including providing them with online access to book appointments or ask for advice.

Managing director of clinical services at Spirit Healthcare Tim Loveridge said: ‘Over the past months we have been working with the CCG, regulators, surgery staff, and other local stakeholders, including patient participation groups, to ensure as smooth a transition as possible from the previous providers.

‘Our focus now is on developing these practices with our patients and with our staff. As an organisation, we are committed to delivering services of the highest standard and make the best use of NHS resources to help make the nation happier and healthier.’

A recent survey by researchers at Imperial College London showed that when practices are owned by limited companies under APMS contracts, patients are less satisfied with the service provided in comparison with those under GMS contracts.

Despite this, data recently obtained by Pulse via a Freedom of Information Act showed that almost all new GP practices (between 2013 and 2017) have been offered APMS contracts.