A GP out of hours provider is to issue judicial review proceedings against a primary care trust after it missed out on a contract to continue providing the services.

Mastercall Out of Hours Services hopes to force Manchester PCT to explain its decision making process and disclose in public the reasons behind its decision to appoint a joint venture between Go to Doc and Harmoni as the provider. Mastercall had operated the contract since 1996.

Alex Megaw, partner at Pannone, which is representing Mastercall, said the company had found out it had not won the contract last October, following an invitation to tender last July.

Awards

He said Mastercall had won awards for its clinical performance standards, one as recently as October last year, which was presented by health secretary Alan Johnson.

"Our clients asked for a meeting with Manchester PCT to discuss their failure to be retained and although a meeting did take place on 17 November, no satisfactory reasons were given for the decision.

"On the contrary, it was restated that Mastercall's was the best tender from a financial viewpoint," he said.

Transparency

"It is vitally important that there is transparency where a PCT is concerned and millions of pounds of public monies are being spent."

A spokesman for Manchester PCT said: "The bidders were evaluated and the most economically advantageous tender was successful. This was the tender that we considered best value for money."