DoH extends APMS in north west of England

The DoH is pushing ahead with controversial plans to introduce APMS contracts in notoriously under-doctored areas.

Plans for 12 new GP practices in four areas: Ashton, Leigh and Wigan; Bolton; Accrington, East Lancashire; and Manchester were unveiled this week.

Nine areas were covered in pilots and the first wave earlier this year.

A total of 30 areas will be covered by the end of 2007.

Consortia of GPs will be invited to tender for the work but they could be up against private providers.

The government's Fairness in Primary Care Procurement has worried some GPs who say private companies have an unfair advantage.

Health minister Andy Burnham said the latest phase of the programme will give 55,000 more people access to primary care.

'There are still areas where patients can not rely on traditional practices,' he said. 'We want to help the NHS plug these gaps, reduce pressure on existing practices and address the health inequalities in the most under-doctored areas.'

Coverage in all the areas set to benefit from the scheme falls well below the national average of 57.9 GPs per 100,000 people because the NHS has historically had difficulty attracting GPs to the north west of England.

The new practices could open in Spring 2008. The DoH will handle procurement but PCTs will manage the APMS contracts.

DoH is extending APMS
roll-out to:

  • Ashton, Leigh and Wigan
  • Bolton
  • Accrington, East Lancashire
  • Manchester

Source: DoH

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