NHS North Central London Integrated Care Board (NCL ICB) has been notified of a potential change of control of AT Medics Ltd. AT Medics Ltd provides general practice services to patients from a number of sites in North Central London and nationally operates approximately 60 GP practices.
Whilst no change has yet taken place, we would like to explain the process and the steps we will be taking to assess the proposal and 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 Central London. AT Medics Ltd is part of the Operose Health Group which holds contracts in London and elsewhere in England. The practice contracts held in North Central London are:
- St Ann’s Road Surgery, Haringey
- Mitchison Road Surgery, Islington
- Hanley Primary Care Centre, Islington
- Kings Cross Surgery, Camden
- Somers Town Medical Centre, Camden
- Brunswick Medical Centre, Camden
- Camden Health Improvement Practice, Camden
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 has informed us that:
- The change of control arises as a result of a proposed change in ownership of Operose Health Ltd, which owns AT Medics Ltd through a holding company.
- It is intended that the ownership of Operose Health Ltd will transfer from the current owner, MH Services International (UK) Ltd, to “T20 Osprey Midco Limited (“HCRG Care Group”)”.
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.
The contracts 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 due diligence and governance 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).
As a commissioner of health services, it is NCL ICB’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 consent from commissioners. NCL ICB is required to act reasonably, fairly and in accordance with its legal duties when determining whether or not to grant consent to a change of control request.
NCL ICB will now commence a formal 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.
When considering whether to grant consent to the change of control request, 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 NCL ICB’s Primary Care Committee which provides oversight, scrutiny and decision making for primary medical services.
We will publicise when this meeting takes place and as a meeting held in public, members of the public and stakeholders will be able to listen to proceedings and submit questions related to the agenda in advance of the meeting.
AT Medics Ltd operates practices nationally, but NCL ICB has responsibility to consider a change of control request for those contracts within our remit. It is the responsibility of the ICBs in other areas to consider any change of control requests that are relevant to them.
Other contracts in North Central London
Operose Health Ltd also has operational management control of AT Medics Ltd and the following practices which together hold a single NHS Standard Contract for GP Extended Access Hubs at Somers Town Medical Centre and Brondesbury Medical Centre, Camden.
Under the terms of the NHS Standard 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 set out above.
We will take steps to inform patients registered at these practices and relevant local stakeholders about the change of control, listen to their views and seek answers to questions raised.
Due diligence will commence and formal review of the proposal will take place once this is complete.
If you have any questions, please come back to us by emailing: email@example.com