PRIMARY CARE: Chesterfield Royal Foundation Trust has won a 15 year contract to provide services at three GP practices it was previously running as an “emergency caretaker”.

The trust’s primary care arm – Royal Primary Care – will be providing services to 20,000 patients from three practices in Grangewood, Staveley and Inkersall.

The contract was awarded by North Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Group following a competitive tender process.

Royal Primary Care took over running the services in May 2015 due to financial pressures and recruitment difficulties at the three practices.

The trust was initially commissioned to run an “emergency caretaker service” until 31 May 2016, but announced on Monday it will continue to provide services for a further 15 years, with the option to extend for three more.

The trust recently took over management of a fourth GP practice on a six month trial, bringing its population coverage to more than 30,000 at the four surgeries.

Gail Collins, medical director at Chesterfield Royal, said: “We are pleased to be able to sustain these services for local people at a time when fewer doctors are choosing to train in primary care medicine and go in to partnerships. We need to be able to offer new solutions – and over the past year it is clear that working for the trust, as part of Royal Primary Care, can be a successful and viable approach.

“Over the last year we have been able to attract and recruit five more GPs. Through this long term contract we will continue to develop Royal Primary Care, bringing GP, primary care and hospital services together in way that will benefit all our patients.”