• Royal Wolverhampton close to taking on eight more GP practices 
  • If successful, this means the trust would run almost half of all GP practices in Wolverhampton
  • According to data the trust has been able to reduce emergency admissions within the practices it runs by nine per cent 

An acute trust in the West Midlands is set to run almost half the GP practices in its area, HSJ can reveal

The Royal Wolverhampton Trust is in talks to take over a further eight GP practices in its area, meaning it would run nearly half of all the practices within Wolverhampton - 17 of 42. 

In 2016 the trust launched a vertical integration programme taking over responsibility for running GP services for three practices. The provider has since taken responsibility for nine practices across its area. 

Speaking with HSJ, Sultan Mahmud, director of integration for Royal Wolverhampton, revealed the trust now has eight more practices going through the “due diligence” process to join the programme this year.

HSJ understands this would be the highest number of GP practices run by an acute trust in England. 

Mr Mahmood also added that the trust hopes to offer some support services, such as recruitment or back office, to practices not within its integration programme. 

According to a report developed by the NHS Benchmarking Network, shared with HSJ, there has been a nine per cent reduction in emergency admissions, in the practices it has taken on, since 2016. 

The data also showed 30,000 more GP appointments per year were offered at the practices after joining the integration programme.

In a statement to HSJ,Mr Mahmud said: “The vertical integration programme has broken new ground in improving access, cutting edge informatics and building strong relationships between clinicians.

“The focus of the trust is to now build on our learning and work constructively and in partnership with all GP groups , Wolverhampton CCG, Wolverhampton City Council, The Black Country Partnership Trust, patient groups and the third and voluntary sector to provide the best outcomes and experiences possible for our population.”