• Chesterfield Royal Hospital FT to create new arm’s length company
  • The new body will provide services to more than 30,000 patients
  • Development follows trust taking on five GP surgeries

Chesterfield Royal Hospital Foundation Trust has created a new arm’s length limited company to provide GP services to more than 30,000 patients in Chesterfield and north east Derbyshire.

The hospital has taken on five GP surgeries in the last two years after initially being asked to step in as an “emergency caretaker” of three practices by local commissioners amid concerns over their sustainability.

Following the success of the schemes the trust has decided to formalise the arrangement with a new arm’s length organisation that will provide the full range of primary care services.

Trust chief executive Simon Morritt will sit on the board managing the new organisation, which has been registered at Companies House as Derbyshire Primary Care and Commercial Services. It will run as a limited company within the NHS.

Mr Morritt said: “Like many GP practices across the country the former Holywell Medical Group and Blue Dykes Surgeries were finding it difficult to operate because fewer doctors are choosing to train in primary care medicine. By linking up with the trust they not only safeguarded vital services for local people, but their GPs were able to focus on patient care and clinical leadership. Over the last two years we’ve demonstrated this can work effectively and efficiently.

“This new organisation is a full NHS service that the trust owns and manages and is fully accountable for. We remain committed to meeting our aim of offering high quality, patient focused GP services in the communities where we have our surgeries.”

The trust has successfully recruited GPs; extended appointments to early mornings, evenings and weekends; and is looking at expanding the range of services it provides at surgeries, including ultrasound.

The new company will enable more new ways of working, creating a team of staff includes advanced nurse practitioners, pharmacists and mental health nurses alongside GPs.