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Darzi centres under review

3rd November 2010

New evidence has suggested that Primary Care Trusts across England have begun “unpicking” APMS contracts awarded under the previous government’s Darzi centre initiative.

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An investigation by the journal Pulse – using Freedom of Information legislation – has shown that on 196 GP-led health centre and APMS practice contracts, almost half have been renegotiated since they were signed.

Other indications are that terms have been adjusted since the new health centres opened because of excessive demand for walk-in consultation and too few registrations.

There are 84 contracts under review as health trust look to cut costs.

Among the trust renegotiating contracts in NHS North Lincolnshire because of costs, while NHS Lewisham is involved in discussions over walk-in activity. The contract for the first Darzi centre, opened in Bradford, is currently being renegotiated.

NHS Stockport and NHS Haringey have terminated GP-led health centre contracts.

A spokesperson for NHS Haringey said: "On 1 November, a local practice will be taking over the contract for nine months while the PCT undertakes a full procurement process for a permanent provider."

Dr Nigel Watson, chair of the GPC’s commissioning and development sub-committee, said that it may be likely that contracts will be renegotiated or terminated because they “weren’t wanted” and did not provide good value for money.

Other areas where Darzi contracts are being renegotiated are NHS Blackpool, NHS Bournemouth and Poole, NHS Derby City and NHS Islington.

In addition, NHS Suffolk has made a number of changes to its contract with the Crown Health Centre in Haverhill.

 

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