CONCERNS over “creeping privatisation” were increased this week after NHS South West Essex announced that an independent contractor has taken over the running of Purfleet Care Centre.
The primary care trust invited other organisations to apply to take over their management, in line with national guidance.
Following a competitive process over the last 18 months, a health providers have been awarded contracts to provide for the health centre.
Assura Chelmsford -a partnership between 13 local GP practices – has been awarded the contract to run the Purfleet Care Centre.
Ian Stidston, director of primary care, says: “I am pleased to announce that Assura Chelmsford have been awarded the contracts to manage the Purfleet Care Centre.
“The practice will continue to provide NHS services and we hope that these groups of GPs will help to bring improvements to the practices, enabling them to better meet the needs of patients over time.
“I would like to extend my thanks to all patients who gave their feedback on the practices, which was fed directly into this process to ensure we chose the right providers.
“I would like to stress that all practice staff are being given the opportunity to transfer to the new organisations if they choose to.”
NHS South West Essex is inviting other organisations to apply to take over the management of the other eight surgeries through a structured procurement process.
This follows Department of Health policy, which is clear that it does not expect primary care trusts to directly manage practices other than for short periods or in an emergency.
The other eight practices that are currently managed by NHS South West Essex and are in the next two phases of the procurement process are: The Gore Practice, Basildon; St Clement’s Health Centre, West Thurrock; Dillip Sabnis Medical Centre, Chadwell St Mary; Brambles Practice, Brentwood; Wickford Health Centre, Wickford; Shotgate Surgery, Wickford; Southview Park Surgery, Basildon; Acorns Surgery, Grays.