• Totally plc buys Vocare for £11m
  • Vocare provides urgent care and out of hours services
  • Services rated inadequate by the CQC

An out of hospital care provider has been bought by a private limited company.

Vocare was bought by Totally plc for £11m earlier this month.

Vocare runs urgent care centres and out of hours services, and previously traded as Northern Doctors Urgent Care.

In the 2016 financial year, Vocare had a turnover of £60.7m, up from £32.6m the previous year.

In December, Northern Doctors Urgent Care converted from a community benefit society to a private company limited by shares.

The company said the increase in turnover came from significant contract wins outside the North East, where it is based, including: “GP out of hours service and an integrated urgent care service in the Yorkshire region, GP out of hours and an NHS 111 service in Somerset, four urgent care centres in the Leicestershire region, further GP out of hours services in Staffordshire and Sunderland, and an NHS 111 service in the West Midlands”.

Totally’s proposal to buy Vocare said: “The directors believe that the acquisition marks a transformational step for Totally in the implementation of its stated buy and build strategy as it looks to become a leader of out of hospital care in a growing UK market estimated to be worth in excess of £20bn per year.”

It added: “Totally’s management anticipate expediting the turnaround in Vocare’s quality of service following recent inspections and reports published by the Care Quality Commission concerning inadequacies in certain of Vocare’s services”.

In recent months, Vocare’s urgent care centre at St Mary’s Hospital, London, was rated inadequate and Somerset Doctors Urgent Care – part of the Vocare group – remains in special measures, having been rated inadequate in August.

This week, Totally announced it had won a £3m, two year extension to provide GP out of hours services to Vale of York Clinical Commissioning Group.