An acute trust in the West Midlands is now running nearly a fifth of GP practices in its area after integrating with its eighth practice.

The Royal Wolverhampton Trust has taken over the running of an eighth GP surgery as part of a vertical integration programme it began in 2016.

The integration of the latest practice last week takes the trust’s population coverage with GP services from 41,327 to 52,862.

The Penn Manor Medical Centre is the eighth practice out of 44 in Wolverhampton to come under the trust’s control.

Despite not being one of NHS England’s national vanguard sites, Royal Wolverhampton’s vertical integration programme has expanded considerably since it started in May 2016.

Within Wolverhampton there are two more “scale” models of primary care in development: the Wolverhampton Care Collaborative and Wolverhampton Total Care. Both of these follow the primary care home model, in which GP practices and primary care providers collaborate to care for populations of 30,000-50,000 patients.

Trust chief executive David Loughton said: “Increasingly across the NHS we are finding patients being passed from pillar to post between different parts of the health services. With GPs working more closely together with hospital consultants and community teams, we have a great opportunity to design services around the patient.”

John Burrell, partner at Penn Manor Medical Centre, said: “Penn Manor is a high performing practice but my belief is integrated patient care is an absolute must, given the amount of multiple conditions that people have. Without working closely with the trust, I can’t see how we can address the needs of our practice population.”