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Care UK given the go-ahead in Barking and Dagenham

May 25th 2006

The contract, announced by Health Minister Lord Warner is the first Government-brokered deal allowing an independent company to run traditional GP services and provide an additional Walk-In centre facility for the area.

Mike Parish, Chief Executive of Care UK said: "This groundbreaking project demonstrates how the independent sector can assist PCTs in improving access to vital primary care services. By integrating a GP practice and an unscheduled care centre on one site we will be providing the local community with much-needed services.

"Care UK brings a wealth of experience in operating community-based health and social care services to the project, including the provision of innovative, patient-focused primary care services to a number of PCTs throughout the UK."

Health Minister Lord Warner said: "We are determined to tackle persistent and particular problems in deprived areas which have been under-served for too long. Contracts like the one in Barking and Dagenham will improve GP access for thousands of people living in places with the poorest cover."

Paul Sinden, Director of Commissioning at the PCT said: "Barking and Dagenham is recognised as an under doctored area, with a high need for primary and community based services. This new model at Broad Street will provide both additional access to GPs and extended primary care through the walk-in centre."

What will this new contract mean for local people?
When the services are fully operational, surgery hours will be extended and this will help local people to access services with more flexibility. The walk-in centre, when fully operational, will make access flexible and convenient with services provided seven days a week from 7.00am to 10.00pm, taking the pressure from local A & E departments and providing a service for thousands of people without the need to go to hospital. The services will be provided from a new modern site with state of the art facilities.

Local people will benefit from this innovative service provision. The services to be offered by Care UK are NHS services for NHS patients. Those eligible to register at the new GP Practice will be those residents who fall within the catchment area of Broad Street Resource Centre. The walk-in centre will be available to all local people, living and/or working in the area.

How has this initiative taken place?
The government named six pilot areas to take part in this scheme, known as APMS (Alternative Provision of Medical Services) and Barking was one of the six chosen areas. The contract with Care UK was awarded through a competitive tendering process and will be for five years.

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