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Potential change of control of AT Medics Ltd

NHS North East London (North East London Integrated Care Board) has been notified of a potential change of control of AT Medics Ltd. AT Medics Ltd provides general practice care to patients across north east London.

Whilst no change has taken place yet we would like to explain the process and to reassure you, your constituents and patients of the steps we will be taking to ensure that the proposed change, if approved, will not adversely affect the GP practices.

What is happening?

AT Medics Ltd holds seven Alternative Provider Medical Services (APMS) contracts in north east London. AT Medics Ltd is part of the Operose Health Group which holds a number of other contracts in London and elsewhere in England. The practices in north east London are:

  • The Loxford Practice – Redbridge
  • Lucas Avenue Practice – Newham
  • Carpenters Practice – Newham
  • E16 Health – Newham
  • Trowbridge Surgery– City & Hackney
  • Goodman’s Field Centre – Tower Hamlets
  • Victoria Medical Centre – Barking & Dagenham (short-term caretaking contract until March 2024)

AT Medics Ltd was set up by GPs in 2004 and is a large provider of general practice services. It was acquired by Operose Health Ltd in 2021 who are ultimately owned by Centene Corporation.

AT Medics Ltd recently wrote to us to seek the ICB’s consent to a change of control.

AT Medics Ltd have informed us that:

What it means for patients

All GP practices work under contract to the NHS and whether owned by GPs or other organisations they must be able to meet strict standards and regulations that apply to all NHS providers.

As previously, the contract will continue to be held by AT Medics Ltd and they will continue to be responsible for providing the primary care services. As part of our assurance process, we will be seeking assurance that patients will be able to continue to access the same services from the same locations as they do now.

If there is a change of control, please be assured that there will be no change to: 

  • the legal entity holding the APMS contracts (AT Medics Ltd);
  • the APMS contracts themselves;
  • the services AT Medics Ltd are required to provide, including locations, opening hours and service standards (including in respect of access and staffing).

Our responsibilities

As a commissioner of health services, it is NHS North East London’s role 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.

Under the terms of the APMS contract, before undergoing a change of control the contract holder must first obtain our consent.

NHS North East London will now carry out a due diligence process to check that the proposed new owner of Operose Health Ltd is of good standing. We will also seek assurance that the change of control would not affect service provision and that patients would not see any difference in their GP practice, so that patients will still access care in the same way and continue to see the same practice teams.

When considering whether to consent to the change of control, we will assess the proposal carefully and consider whether it is necessary to seek any additional assurances.

That decision will be made at a meeting of the NEL Primary Care Contracts Sub Group which will meet in public to take the decision. This means members of the public will be able to attend and observe proceedings. We will publicise when the meeting occurs and interested members of the public will be able to submit comments and questions in advance of the meeting.

Other contracts in north east London

Operose Health Ltd also has operational management control of the following companies and practices in north east London:

  • John Smith Medical Centre, Barking and Dagenham – Chilvers & McCrae Ltd (PMS practice)

Under the terms of the PMS/GMS contract, the contract holder does not have to seek our consent to undergo a change of control. However, the change of control and standing of the proposed new owner will nonetheless be scrutinised as part the due diligence, assurance and consent process that applies to the APMS contracts, set out above.

Next steps and have your say

As part of the assurance process we are currently carrying out, we would like to hear from you about these proposals. Please complete our survey here: www.surveymonkey.com/r/LZX8TS7  

Patients at the affected practices should have been sent a text message advising them of the potential change directing them to where they can go for further information.  AT Medics Ltd has also assured us they have engaged with their practice patient participation groups and provided information for their patients. 

We held a webinar on Wednesday 24 January 2024 for patients of AT Medics, members of the public and other stakeholders to give their feedback and ask questions. You can read the slides from this here.   

Please email nelondonicb.nelcommunications@nhs.net if you have any questions or want to be kept informed about this.