Private GP firm slated by NHS watchdog enters administration

A PRIVATE out-of-hours GP firm previously rated unsafe for putting lives at risk has gone into administration.

Chris Stirland and John Lowe, partners at FRP Advisory, have been appointed as joint administrators to Central Nottinghamshire Clinical Services Ltd after it ceased trading “following a termination of its services” with the Clinical Commissioning Groups of East Leicestershire & Rutland, West Leicestershire, Leicester City, Newark & Sherwood and Mansfield & Ashfield.

A damning report into the firm by the Care Quality Commission last year placed it in special measures after it found a critically ill six-week-old child was forced to wait for over five hours to see a GP instead of the stipulated 60 minutes.

The NHS watchdog also heard from a whistle-blower who revealed that one Saturday night there was only one GP on call for the 990,000 patients across its 950-square-mile region.

FRP said the company “faced an unsustainable pressure on its cash-flow which, without a radical change in the funding arrangements in place undermined its ability to deliver the level of services required under its various agreements across the NHS”.

CNCS operated with around 190 GPs and 151 healthcare workers ranging from primary care doctors, nurses and care home support staff. Most staff have been taken over by the new providers following the transfer of CNCS’ services to them.

However “the remaining staff at its Mansfield headquarters will be made redundant”.

CNCS operated the Care Home Urgent Care Service (“CHUCS”) under commission from the Newark and Sherwood CCG with a team covering 16 homes, both nursing and residential.

Chris Stirland, joint administrator and partner at FRP Advisory, said: “Prior to administration CNCS had faced acute financial pressure and the company worked with care commissioners to ensure strong alternative providers were in place to provide a continuity of service for the public, with access to care for patients at the heart of that process.

“As administrators our priority remains in assisting all those involved with the now completed handover of services with patient care remaining the paramount driver of that process. We shall consult with the company’s remaining staff as we seek to realise assets in the interest of creditors.”

CNCS also operated Pathways Support Service, a specialist social care service that supported unpaid carers who look after those near the end of their lives.

CNCS ran the Rapid Intervention Team Service, part of the PRISM Integrated Care Programme for Newark and Sherwood CCG, a partnership working arrangement between CNCS and Care & Comfort Community Services. RITS provided short term care and support for people at risk of being admitted to hospital due to a non-clinical emergency.

It also ran the Pathways Support Service, a specialist social care service that supported unpaid carers who look after those near the end of their lives. The service – fully funded by Nottinghamshire County Council – has been handed back to the council.

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