Tuesday, September 29, 2015

News: No new provider at Rotherham walk in centre

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1,700 patients will have to find another GP after no new provider has been found to replace Care UK when it ends its provision early at the £9.9m Rotherham Community Health Centre.

The centre on Greasborough Road in the town centre was developed by St Paul's Developments and built by Morgan Sindall. It opened in 2009 and provides GP and walk-in services and also provides modern and accessible facilities for most of the primary care services that were based at Doncaster Gate Hospital.

A £12.2m Urgent Care Centre is under construction at Rotherham Hospital which involves the closure of the Town Centre Walk in Centre and transfer of the GP out of hours service to the hospital site.

Care UK's announced last year that its service is due to end on September 30 2015. A private company owned by private equity group, Bridgeport Capital, Care UK is a leading provider of health and social care services, working with local authorities and the NHS. It provides a range of NHS GP services including clinics, walk in centres and out of hours support.

It was previously thought that a town centre GP surgery would remain on the site. The initial proposal was to provide a purpose-built Urgent Care Centre at the A&E department at Rotherham Hospital and move all but the GP Registered services from the Chantry Bridge site to the new site in 2015. However, delays to this project now means that this move won't take place until the Spring of 2017.

Now, when the move takes place, all of the other NHS and community services are expected to remain on site, including family planning/sexual health services and clinics. Some other non‐acute provision could be relocated to the town centre.

The current contract with Care UK for the Walk in Centre and GP Out of Hours provision was due to expire in May 2016 and tenders were being invited for the provision of a new Alternative Provider Medical Services (APMS) contract for the delivery of GP services at the Community Health Centre, set to start in November. No providers have been appointed.

The Rotherham Clinical Commissioning Group has now written to registered patients, telling them that they will need to register with a new practice.

Chris Edwards, chief officer at the Rotherham Clinical Commissioning Group, said: "Rotherham CCG has been working with NHS England for several months to find a new service provider. Unfortunately this has not been successful an therefore there is no provider for the Chantry Bridge practice after 31st October 2015."

An options appraisal carried out by NHS England on the end of the contract, stated: "Care UK has provided this service since 2009 and the expected growth to 6,000 registered patients has not materialised leading us to assume that patients are happy with their existing registered practices. The Practice currently has a list size of 1,778, compared with a Rotherham average of 7,182, making it the 4th smallest out of 36.

"The fact there is only a list of approximately 1,780 patients may not prove financially viable for potential new contractors."

The Rotherham Community Health Centre was acquired in a £14.1m deal in 2012 by a wholly owned subsidiary of Primary Health Properties, an AIM-listed company that specialises in the ownership of freehold or long leasehold interests in modern purpose-built healthcare facilities.

The 4,636 sq m property is wholly let to Rotherham Primary Care Trust (now called the The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust) and had 16 years remaining on the lease when the deal was secured.

Chantry Bridge website

Images: Primary Health Properties

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