PCT scraps franchise plan to move practices into health centres

Controversial plans to move 76 small practices into 24 'franchised' health centres have been scrapped, according to GP leaders in Birmingham.

Dr Morley said franchised health centres did not make any financial sense
Dr Morley said franchised health centres did not make any financial sense

In 2007, Heart of Birmingham (HoB) PCT's ‘corporate franchise strategy' revealed plans to move all the area's GPs into 24 LIFT centres with ‘strong brand identity'.

In 2007, Birmingham LMC chairman Dr Robert Morley described a report outlining the plans as ‘the most frightening document I've ever read'.

The report was loosely based on the strategy of fast food businesses, and swiftly dubbed ‘McMedicine' by angry GPs.

In 2008 the PCT changed the name of the strategy to the 'complete care franchise' but it still hoped to impose staff name badges and minimum standards in ‘politeness and courtesy'.

Dr Morley said the plans have been ‘quietly shelved' because ‘one new LIFT building can bankrupt a PCT, let alone 24'.

‘It fell apart because they did their sums and they didn't add up. They realised they couldn't afford 24 new LIFT premises.

HoB PCT has repeatedly failed to provide GP newspaper with an updated version of the strategy and was unable to comment on the fate of the 24 proposed health centres.

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