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Super-partnership grows patient population to 380,000 with eight new practices

by Valeria Fiore
31 July 2018

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Modality Partnership, one of the first GP super-partnerships in the UK, is growing its patient list size to around 380,000 with the addition of eight GP practices in Walsall in the West Midlands.

NHS Walsall Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) selected the GP organisation as the new provider for eight practices in the area, following a public consultation in August 2017.

As part of plans to enhance primary care services in the region, the CCG assigned the APMS contracts to Modality as it believes these changes will help practices offer more GP appointments.

A Modality Partnership spokesperson confirmed that, by including the eight new Walsall practices, its patient population size ‘will be in the region of 380,000’, and it is likely it will exceed 400,000 by autumn as the group continues to grow.

The practices, which will join the group from September 2018, will add to the five practices in Walsall that are already part of Modality.

Modality Walsall executive partner Dr Narinder Sahota said: ‘We have been providing care here in Walsall for a number of years to many patients and are proud to be working with the CCG to extend the care we provide to the wider community of Walsall.’

The group also runs GP practices in Birmingham, Yorkshire, Hull and the South East of England.

Fewer practices, more appointments

Many of the eight practices will merge when they become part of Modality.
There will be four GP practices operating from 8am – 6.30pm Monday to Friday, all providing access to evening and weekend appointments.
From September, GP services from these practices will be provided as follows:

  • One practice will be created through the merger of Wharf Family Practice, Sai Medical Practice and Manor Medical Centre;
  • One practice operating from two sites will be set up following the merger of Harden Family Practice, Coalpool Family Practice and Blakenall Family Practice;
  • Two practices, Keys Family Practice and Collingwood Family Practice, will continue to operate from their current sites.

NHS Walsall CCG chief officer Prof Simon Brake said: ‘We believe these changes are helping us achieve our vision for improving GP services.
‘By merging several GP surgeries, we are creating more appointments and therefore, offering patients more opportunities get see a GP.
The changes will also mean that under the new provider half day closures will be removed from the contracts, enhancing our primary care services and creating even more appointments.’
Changes to staff
A Modality Partnership spokesperson confirmed that all staff currently employed by the eight practices will be protected under the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) regulations (TUPE) and will start working for Modality from September.
Current GP partners will become Modality Partners.

The Modality spokesperson told Management in Practice that the group does not expect to make redundancies, as this has not been necessary in past takeovers.
In fact, she said, there is likely to be an increase in the number of staff working for Modality.
The spokesperson added that practice managers are likely to cover different roles within Modality and although it is too early to be certain of how their jobs will evolve, they will be offered opportunities to continuously develop within the partnership.