Exclusive: GPs demand PCT compensation over aborted bid process

GPs are demanding thousands of pounds in compensation after a PCT error caused the cancellation of a tendering process for a group of practices.

Dr Rob Barnett: 'Practices have incurred costs for a process which has then been aborted through no fault of their own. I think they should be compensated' (Photograph: JH Lancy)
Dr Rob Barnett: 'Practices have incurred costs for a process which has then been aborted through no fault of their own. I think they should be compensated' (Photograph: JH Lancy)
Liverpool PCT and NHS Sefton put 17 APMS practices up for tender in the summer of 2011, attracting bids from a number of local practices.

Liverpool LMC secretary Dr Rob Barnett said practices had invested time and in some cases thousands of pounds in consultants’ fees to bid.

But in January this year, the PCTs terminated the procurement process. A spokeswoman for Liverpool PCT and NHS Sefton said the decision had been taken because the specification for contractors failed to ‘adequately define the minimum standards of patient care’ required.

Dr Barnett said that local GPs were ‘very upset’ by the decision and he believed practices inv­olved should be compensated for the time and money spent on placing a bid.

‘My belief is that practices have incurred costs for a process which has then been aborted through no fault of their own. I think they should be compensated.’

He said individual practices, groups of practices, others working with organisations from outside the local area and local hospital trusts had bid.

‘If people put in bids there will have been the actual costs of putting bids together coupled with the fact that some have engaged consultants to help with the process. There is also the time involved,’ he said.

Dr Barnett said that one small practice had reported spending £5,000 on a private consultant.

A spokeswoman for Liverpool PCT and NHS Sefton said: ‘Liverpool PCT and NHS Sefton have terminated the original procurement process, and commenced a new process. The details of this are now being finalised.

‘While the delay in awarding new contracts for these practices is regrettable, Liverpool PCT and NHS Sefton’s top priority must remain ensuring a high-quality service for patients.’

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