Under current regulations, practices can sell goodwill on enhanced and additional services by sub-contracting the work to a 'separate legal entity'. They are prohibited from selling goodwill on essential services provided to a list of registered patients.
The same rules apply for providers delivering services under alternative provider medical services (APMS) contracts.
A DoH spokesman said: 'There are no plans to review rules on the sale of goodwill.'
He added that the current regulations preserved rights that existed prior to the new GMS contract: 'Contractors can sub-contract additional and enhanced services to a separate legal entity that can then trade in goodwill. This has always been the case for sub-contractors, and was a continuation of DoH policy to ensure equality for all those who are delivering these services when the new primary medical services arrangements were introduced.'
He confirmed that APMS providers were allowed to sell goodwill on services as long as they did not hold a registered patient list.
'APMS providers who do not hold registered patient lists may trade goodwill either as direct providers with PCTs or as subcontractors of additional or enhanced services,' he said. 'This would be voided if the APMS provider subsequently entered into a contract in respect of services to a registered patient list.'