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GP practice closes after unsuccessful bid for a new provider

by Valeria Fiore
2 February 2018

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A GP practice has closed after failing to secure a new contract with a provider to run the service, the local CCG has said.

NHS Newcastle Gateshead Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) announced at a meeting on 30 January that it had not managed to find a new provider for the service and was therefore forced to close the practice.

A spokesperson for NHS Newcastle Gateshead CCG said that they had launched an open market procurement to find a new provider. They advertised on Contracts Finder and the OJEU website, ‘in line with Public Contracts Regulations 2015 and all other relevant legislation’.

The CCG started the procurement process on 13 November 2017 but as of 6 December 2017, no provider had stepped forward.

Around 3,100 patients are on the register of the practice at Ponteland Road Health Centre, in Newcastle upon Tyne.

Medical director for NHS Newcastle Gateshead CCG Dr Neil Morris said: ‘We are disappointed to be in this position, but unfortunately we have been left with no other option.

‘We understand that the practice is highly valued within the community and we have tried our best to keep the practice open. We would like to stress that this decision is not a reflection on the staff who have worked very hard to deliver a high quality service to their patients.’

The practice was previously run on APMS contract by Freeman Clinics Ltd, which still provides services for the walk-in centre at Ponteland Road Health Centre.

As Management in Practice previously reported, a campaign to save the practice was launched last year, with councillors calling on the CCG to reverse its decision to close the practice. The contract with Freeman Clinics Ltd had previously been extended and could not be lengthened any further, according to the CCG.

A spokesperson for Freeman Clinics told Management in Practice: ‘The APMS contract for the practice ends on 31 March 2018 and a re-procurement was attempted by commissioners. On this occasion we chose not to bid for the contract.

‘We take our duty of care to our staff very seriously and we are working closely with them to look at the options available.’

It comes as another practice in the area might close in March 2018, as the CCG has not been able to find a new provider.

Grainger Medical Practice, which operates in two different locations in Newcastle upon Tyne might close after the current contract expires on 31 March 2018.

According to Healthwatch Newcastle the CCG, which aims at closing only one of the two branches and bringing services together at the Elswick Health Centre branch, has decided to extend the current contract until 30 September, in a bid to buy extra time to find a longer-term provider from 1 October 2018.