Published: 15/09/2005, Volume II5, No. 5973 Page 23

Dr Richard More, chair, Abbey Manor Medical Practice Ltd Mark Gould reported that the first provision of full NHS family doctor services by a limited company had opened (news, page 9, 11 August).

But as he did not give the opening date, I wonder if this is correct.

We are a small practice with 1,800 patients, running under the advanced personal medical services regulatory framework. We opened for business on the 1 August this year.

APMS has been widely discussed as a mechanism for introducing new players into the family doctor sector.

However we have taken a different approach, in that Abbey Manor is totally owned by a larger practice.

Our vision is to provide services in a small-practice setting, retaining the virtues that patients value while bringing all the advantages of the organisational structure and specialisations of a larger practice.

To do this and prevent the practice being swallowed up, we need a separate, strong and clear identity. To provide this we are working towards 'independent corporate existence that distinguishes a company from a partnership' (from The Company Directors Guide, published by Kogan Page).

This allows us the choice of corporate structure, within the companies acts, that means our management structure is clear and fit for purpose.

We would be pleased to share our experiences and learn from others. I can be contacted at richard. more@ammpl. co. uk