In an open procurement process, Nottingham Clinical Commissioning Group has awarded the contract for the city’s NEMS Platform One GP Practice to Nottingham City General Practice Alliance – batting away the bid by the USA Centene Corporation’s UK Subsidiary, Operose Health.
This is welcome news, given Operose Health’s contentious stealth takeover of contracts for over 40 London GP Practices and their holding company. But the fact remains that the contract offered by the Clinical Commissioning Group was so cheap that Platform One was unable to bid for it.
Platform One’s contract was due to run out at the end of March 2021. When the NHS commissioners put the new contract out to tender, a Platform One Practice spokesperson told the British Medical Association they would lose around £400,000 a year under the new contract, and would have to make 40 per cent of staff redundant on the new budget. She said:
‘We cannot provide that care under the current framework of the financial offering that has been offered.’
Because of this, Nottingham Council’s Health Scrutiny Committee asked the Clinical Commissioning Group to consider an extension to the current Platform One Practice contract. The Clinical Commissioning Group has now agreed a three month contract extension with the Platform One Practice to help patients transfer to the new provider.
Nottingham City General Practice Alliance is a Company Limited by Shares, has a membership of 48 Practices and covers a population of over 336,000. It is a “partner” in Nottingham City Integrated Care Partnership.
The new contract is for 10 years and covers a redrawn geographical area, that means 3,000 patients will be dispersed to another practice. That leaves 7,800 registered patients transferring from Platform One to the new Nottingham City General Practice Alliance practice.
The question remains, how Nottingham City General Practice Alliance is going to be able to give patients the same quality of care they received from Platform One – even if the big cut to the Practice budget in the new contract is partly dealt with by removing about 28% of the patients.