AT Medics Ltd (ATML) holds 34 Alternative Provider of Medical Services (APMS) contracts and a small number of NHS Standard Contracts across London. In North East London (NEL) it holds eight APMS contracts which are for:
- Trowbridge Surgery (City and Hackney)
- Albert Road and E16 Surgery (Newham CCG)
- Carpenters Practice (Stratford/Manor Park/Canning Town branches (Newham CCG)
- Lucas Avenue Practice (Newham CCG)
- Whitechapel Health Centre (Tower Hamlets CCG)
- East One Health (Tower Hamlets CCG)
- Loxford Practice (Redbridge CCG)
- Temporary caretaking contract for Victoria Medical Centre (Barking and Dagenham CCG).
Change of control of ATML has transferred from the directors of ATML to Operose Health Ltd – a company that holds a number of GP contracts and other health service contracts across London and in other parts of the country.
All GP practices work under contract to the NHS and whether owned by GPs or other organisations can bid for contracts across the country. However they must be able to meet strict standards and regulations that apply to all NHS providers.
AT Medics had to ask permission of the NHS (the CCGs that commission the relevant services) for the change in control. This is allowed under the terms of the GP contract. In this case, the transfer was approved as there was no legal or contractual basis for the CCG to reject the transfer of control and it will not alter the service that is required under the contract.
The change in control was approved by each NEL Primary Care Commissioning Committee (PCCC) via Chair’s action in December 2020 as there were no such committees in December due to the focus on managing the pandemic. The NEL Primary Care Commissioning Committee in common for ratified the decision on 4 February 2021.
As a commissioner of health services, CCGs’ role is to ensure the provision of high quality, safe services for local people. In addition, all health service providers are regulated and inspected by the Care Quality Commission to ensure they meet fundamental standards of quality and safety.
As part of a due diligence process undertaken prior to considering the change in control we sought assurance that our patients and their care would not be affected. AT Medics advised us that they will continue to run the GP practices as they do now and patients will continue to see the same doctors and nurses although over time there may be some natural changes in staff as people choose to move to new jobs. Care remains free at the point of delivery.
Our commissioning practices in relation to AT Medics have followed the same rules and guidance as we apply to all our GP contracts and any decisions taken were informed by legal and national guidance. In this case, there was no legal or contractual basis for the CCG to reject the transfer of control of AT Medics Ltd, and doing so would have posed a risk to continuity of high quality of care for local residents.
When existing contracts are up for renewal, AT Medics, along with all other appropriate providers, will be able to bid for the contracts and as part of this will need to demonstrate their performance on a range of different parameters such as service quality, access, workforce and patient engagement.