Commissioners in the West Midlands have launched a procurement process for a single provider of a seven day GP services contract worth more than £1m, HSJ has learned.

Herefordshire Clinical Commissioning Group published a prior information notice last month inviting providers to declare their interest in bidding for the contract covering the whole county.

The contract will be worth £1.1m, which the CCG equates to the £6 per head of population promised to CCGs by NHS England in order to implement extended GP appointment access.

In the 2017-19 planning guidance, NHS England said CCGs running GP access schemes would receive £6 per head to fund extended hours.

In April 2014, Taurus Healthcare, a GP federation based in Herefordshire, won £2.66m in funding from the GP access fund to run three hubs offering extended GP opening hours from 8am to 8pm, seven days a week. According to figures acquired via a freedom of information request, Taurus Healthcare also received an additional £654,000 for this pilot.

Draft board minutes published last week by the CCG said there would be “a very tight time line” should the group have to go to full procurement for the new contract.

Lesley Woakes, the CCG’s director of primary care, said: “Hereford CCG published a prior information notice for seven day GP services just before Christmas which will run until 24 January 2017.

“We will be procuring a single seven day GP contract as we believe that a single provider be the best option to ensure a continuity of service for our patients. The contract will be worth approximately £1.1m, equating to the £6 per head allocated through the GP Forward View.”