GPs in Kent beat firms to win four APMS contracts

Local GPs have won APMS contracts to run four more practices in Kent 'in the teeth of concerted opposition' from large private companies.

The successful bids to run GP services in Staplehurst and Gillingham by GPs in neighbouring West Malling show how it is possible for GPs to outbid mass providers.

These bids echo the 70 per cent success rate of GPs in winning tendered contracts (GP, 25 January 2008).

The nine-doctor group practice have beaten Care UK and ADP Healthcare to secure the contract with West Kent primary care trust (PCT) to run the £1 million Staplehurst health centre.

Medway PCT is also awarding its contract to run three former PCT practices in Gillingham with a combined patient list of 6,500 to the West Malling GPs.

Dr Thomas Reichhelm and his partners' bid 'scored highest on the non-financial quality aspects and came out top after the financials were taken into account,' a spokesman for West Kent PCT said.

Kent LMC clerk David Barr said: 'We were extremely pleased. Patients said that their biggest priority was continuity of care.

'They did not want the practices run by some large group via a call centre.'

The LMC sat on the selection panel for both contracts.

LMC staff are now encouraging local practices to put together bids to run three Darzi centres in Medway and one in West Kent.

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