STRUCTURE: GPs in Exeter have formed a limited company to bid for primary care contracts amid fears they could otherwise lose work to larger organisations.

Exeter Primary Care Ltd includes all 16 practices serving the Devon city.

Chief executive Elizabeth Deasey told HSJ the motivation for coming together was to protect services for patients and practice income streams.

She said NEW Devon Clinical Commissioning Group and Devon County Council, which commissions NHS Health Checks, were unlikely to want to contract separately with individual GP practices.

Both commission enhanced service contracts from GPs, which are outside the standard GP contract.

Ms Veasey added: “This is driven by the fact we understand that commissioners are going to start tendering services and… we felt it would protect the services we are currently providing.

“We are very excited by what we are doing and feel it is the best way forward for our patients.”

She said in the longer term Exeter Primary Care Ltd would look purchasing on behalf of practices.