Campaigners against privatisation of the NHS have written to Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, questioning the legality of the recent takeover of large numbers of GP surgeries in London by the US Corporation Centene following its acquisition of the UK company AT Medics.
In February 2021, Centene, via its UK subsidiary Operose Health Ltd, acquired AT Medics, which operates 49 GP surgeries across 19 London boroughs under Alternative Provider of Medical Services (APMS) contracts and standard contracts, providing services to around 370,000 people, with 900 employees. Until its takeover, AT Medics, was owned by six GP directors.
The campaigners, including Allyson Pollack, director of the Newcastle University Centre for Excellence in Regulatory Science, Peter Roderick, Principal Research Associate, Newcastle University, Jackie Applebee, Chair, Doctors in Unite, Louise Irvine, Secretary, Health Campaigns Together, John Puntis, co-Chair, Keep Our NHS Public, Paul Evans, Director, NHS Support Federation, Steve Carne, 999 Call for the NHS, and Brian Fisher, Chair, Socialist Health Association, question the lack of transparency surrounding the takeover and whether the correct legal processes have been followed by all those involved – AT Medics, 13 Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) and NHS England.
The letter requests that the Secretary of State exercises his power under section 48 of the Health and Social Care Act 2008 to request the Care Quality Commission conduct an investigation into NHS England and the 13 CCGs involved in authorising the take-over of the GP surgery contracts held by AT Medics.
Full story in The Lowdown, 25 February 2021