Trust seeks legal advice to stop private firms selling GP practices

BMJ 2012; 344 doi: (Published 08 June 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;344:e3993
  1. Tom Foot
  1. 1London

NHS officials have admitted they were powerless to stop a US health giant from suddenly selling a Camden GP surgery to another private firm. The surgery closed less than a year later leaving 4700 patients looking for a new GP.1

Tony Hoolaghan, associate director of North Central London NHS Trust, described how the trust lost control of Camden Road Surgery and that he was seeking legal advice to stop a similar situation happening again. He was speaking on 31 May at an inquiry into the closure of the surgery held by Camden Council.

Camden Road Surgery is one of three GP practices that were contracted out by the primary care trust to giant US healthcare company UnitedHealth in 2008. However, in April 2011 UnitedHealth sold its shares in the three practices, including the Camden Road surgery, to The Practice plc describing it as a “management transfer.”

The transfer shocked patients, who were not informed about the deal until after it was done. …

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