Seven GP practices in Croydon taken over by US health giant

An American health insurance giant which has been described by the Daily Mail as “a profit greedy” company is about to take over seven GP surgeries in Croydon.

GP practices in Addiscombe, New Addington and Purley are among those being taken over by a US-based firm

Centene, through Operose Health, its UK subsidiary, has been taking over GP surgeries and practices in London and across the country for many years.

Centene has recently taken over AT Medics, a primary care provider responsible for 49 GP surgeries and more than 370,000 patients in the Greater London area. Seven of those GP practices are in Croydon.

According to campaign group WeOwnIt, “With a total of 70 GP surgeries and practices, Centene is almost certainly the largest single provider of NHS primary care in England.

“This is shocking.”

The Croydon health practices which are subject of the latest Centene takeover are:

  • Fieldway Medical Centre, 15a Danebury, CR0 9EU
  • GP Hub Central Croydon, Brickwood Road, Croydon CR0 6UL
  • AT Medics at Parkway Health Centre, Parkway, New Addington, CR0 0JA
  • GP Hub Purley War Memorial Hospital, 856 Brighton Road, CR8 2YL
  • Headley Drive Surgery, 117a Headley Drive, CR0 0QL
  • Thornton Road Surgery, 299 Thornton Road, CR0 3EW
  • Valley Park Surgery, Healthy Living Centre, Franklin Way, CR0 4YD

Before the new acquisitions Operose Health was already running GP practices in Nottingham, Milton Keynes, Luton and Birmingham,  totalling 21 surgeries and practices.

To find out more, and to sign WeOwnIt’s petition against the takeover of NHS surgeries, click here.

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9 Responses to Seven GP practices in Croydon taken over by US health giant

  1. This includes our GP practice at the Purley hub. Not far from my worst nightmare about the privatisation of healthcare, to be taken over by a US health insurance giant. WHO CAN STILL BELIEVE THE NHS IS NOT BEING PRIVATISED???

  2. Lewis White says:

    This is monstrous. Who sanctioned the sell-off?

    Stop the sell-off.

  3. Graham Richardson says:

    GP practices are owned by the GPs, and always have been. If they are sold off, it is the GP that is doing the selling.

  4. Laura says:

    I’m confused, how do they profit from these practices?

  5. Linda Smith says:

    I cannot Believe this. So The NHS has been sold off to USA…its a joke.

  6. Dan Kelly says:

    Correct me if I am wrong but haven’t all GP practices always been privately owned and their principals self-employed subcontractors to NHS?
    So the NHS isn’t being sold off at all.
    Practices were always changing hands.

  7. Originally [ie 1948] GP’s were self employed and contracted to the NHS directly. Some GP’s do exclusively private work, some both NHS and private and some just NHS work. GP’s may be self-employed or may be employees of group practices [especially those that are not partnerships but are companies, such as that in this article]. My own group practice has both partner principles and employed GP’s.but it is owned by a company which contracts with the PCO so all are effectively employees. The article states that the practices concerned are owned by a UK company which now has been taken over by the US Insurance giant, so it is not as simple as that GP’s are self employed sub contractors. But is is as simple as that these GP practices, that are contracted to provide NHS Primary Care, the level of funding for which is negotiated nationally, are now owned by a US company intent on expanding into this sector in the UK. So the NHS Primary Care contracts formerly provided by these UK owned practices are now in US ownership. …. states:-
    ” Most GPs are self-employed contractors.
    The GMS (general medical services) contract covers around 60% of practices.
    The rest are PMS (personal medical services or section 17 in Scotland) practices.
    GP practices, rather than individual GPs, contract with the PCO (primary care organisation) to provide general medical services.
    This contract, and thus practices, are funded via different streams.
    Practices’ entitlements to this funding are detailed in the Statement of Financial Entitlements.
    GPs’ earnings are then determined by the practice’s own business arrangement, whether as a single-handed practitioner, a partnership, or a company limited by shares.
    The levels of funding and entitlements to practices are negotiated nationally​​.”
    And the other 40% :-
    ”PMS and Section 17C agreements are local alternatives to the national GMS contracts.
    Although the contract budget is locally negotiated between contractor and PCO, and the elements of that budget are not nationally protected, these agreements are becoming increasingly similar to GMS.
    PMS contractors have equal access to many of the income sources under the GMS contract, such as the quality and outcomes framework.”

  8. Practices were owned by the GP’s or partnerships, yes. But not permitted as companies until 2004. From:- in September 2014
    ”the false claim that ‘GP practices are just businesses’ has just been given a massive push towards reality.
    Last month, [August 2014] it emerged that NHS England has said that, because of competition law, all new GP contracts will have to be opened up to bids from the profit-making, private corporate sector. And – whilst struggling under funding cuts – they will have to fight off the private sector to keep their practice every 5 years. They will all be forced into contracts as ‘Alternative Providers of Medical Services’. This was a new concept introduced by New Labour in 2004. It allowed contracts to be held by the private sector, including by non-GPs. It gave companies like Virgin and Care UK a foothold in general practice, though hiding behind the NHS logo. It was a defining moment for general practice and many feel the BMA GP Committee should have resisted it harder.
    But last month’s announcement is a step change towards the rapid corporatisation of General Practice. ”

  9. Here is [thanks for the link to Liz Dent, a fellow student with me on the Bsc Sociology degree at Bath Uni in the early 70’s, and a social worker in Children’s Services, where exactly the same thing happened years ago] the ”back story” of AT Medics, latterly Operose, who sold GP practices to the US insurance company investors :-

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