Private firm bids for 250 GP practices

Care UK is gearing up to bid to run the 150 new Darzi centres and 100 new practices in an extension of its primary care arm.

The 250 new primary care developments were announced by health minister Lord Ara Darzi in his interim review in October.

The private provider runs 11 primary care services but its bids-in-preparation could push that up dramatically.

Its earnings from healthcare went through the roof in 2007, rising from £18.3 million in 2006 to over £60 million, an uplift of 228 per cent.

Care UK now aims to be 'the UK's leading provider ... to the NHS and social services', says chief executive Mike Parish in an interim management statement for 2007. It estimates the value of the primary care sector at £10 billion.

Much of the 2007 uplift came from last year's acquisition of Mercury Health.

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