BREAKING: Major King's Mill contractor 'going into administration'

Primary Care 24 is a major part of services provided at King's Mill, and is in crisis as the company severs links leaving patients on their own.
Primary Care 24 is a major part of services provided at King's Mill, and is in crisis as the company severs links leaving patients on their own.

Struggling healthcare company Central Nottinghamshire Clinical Services (CNCS), which provides primary care to the NHS in North Nottinghamshire, has ceased primary care services as the company goes into administration.

The controversial not-for-profit company which is a major partner of King's Mill hospital, was at the centre of national criticism when the CQC rated the company's primary care services in Kirkby as 'inadequate', with reports of one GP on call for a million patients.

Now the local NHS commissioning group says it has been informed the contractor 'can no longer continue to provide the local health services' and it intends to file for administration.

Its local arm based at King's Mill, Primary Care 24, is responsible for local out-of-hours GP and walk-in services which runs alongside A&E, and will now be transferred to new providers, but sources say they have concerns about the level of care as a major transition will have to be made.

And as news comes in that the firm's services to the NHS will be withdrawn, myriad patients and vulnerable services users will be left without care in the transition.

Read more: Patients to get improved emergency services at King's Mill hospital

GP crisis as Kirkby medical practice

Scott Marsh, chief executive of Respectful Care, which provides some agency staffing for Primary Care 24, said: "We just found out that one of our partnerships with CNCS has just gone into administration today.

"We're an agency and we've had a couple of staff working in their organisation for the last six months on various areas of the business, delivering care to vulnerable adults and working with their emergency care team.

"I'm worried about the standard of care as they're leaving vulnerable adults on their own.

"We've now got to cut our ties with the company after we've made connections with them and we've got to break away our services now. It's going to leave vulnerable adults alone today.

"It's been mismanaged," he added. "Last year they turned over £30 million and this year the administrators have been called in."

CNCS also provides out of hours and emergency care in North Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire and Rutland, and urgent care services in Loughborough.

A spokesperson for CNCS did not confirm which parts of the company were being taken into administration. They said in a statement: “CNCS is working with its advisors and commissioners to ensure that service continuity will be maintained through the transfer of service delivery to other experienced care taker providers.”

Mansfield & Ashfield's local Clinical Commissioning Group said they were re-assuring patients that urgent care services were still in safe hands.

A spokesman said: "Central Nottingham Clinical Services (CNCS) has notified commissioners that they can no longer continue to provide the local health services they delivered in parts of Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire. CNCS has notified of its intention to go into administration.

CNCS is a social enterprise that provides services in Mansfield and Ashfield, Newark and Sherwood and Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland. Services provided include primary care out of hours, some urgent care and walk-in services, care home support services and carer support services.

In Nottinghamshire, CNCS were commissioned to operate the PC24 out of hours service based at King’s Mill Hospital, out of hours services at Newark Hospital and care home support services across the county of Nottinghamshire.

The CCG added: "CNCS also provide out of hours services in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland as well as the Loughborough Urgent Care Centre.

"CNCS has experienced a number of financial and quality challenges over the last year. Commissioners have been working with CNCS since being notified of their intention to cease operating and has already put in place strong providers who will continue to provide services for the public. Patients who need to access care should not see any change in the availability of services."

Dr Amanda Sullivan, chief officer for NHS Mansfield and Ashfield CCG, who manage the contract with CNCS said: “As commissioners it is the CCG’s priority to ensure that continuity of the out-of-hours and urgent care services are maintained for the populations of Mansfield and Ashfield, Newark and Sherwood and Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland. We appreciate the concern this has caused to staff and some patients but we have taken swift and decisive action.

“We wish to reassure staff, contractors and stakeholders that the CCGs have put in place alternative arrangements with experienced providers to ensure that those services remain accessible to the public as they do now. We value the contribution of the staff who continue to work tirelessly to deliver quality out of hours services.

“The new providers will start to take over the running of the existing service from 6.30pm on Thursday May12. All services will have transferred by Friday 13th May. Managers have visited sites to meet with staff and contractors to ensure that services can continue to be delivered safely."

The caretaker providers are, for out of hours urgent care services at PC24 at King’s Mill Hospital and the out of hours GP services at Newark Hospital - NEMS (Nottingham Emergency Medical Services)
Care Home support services in Nottinghamshire – Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust
Out of hours services in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland as well as the Loughborough Urgent Care Centre – Derbyshire Health United

“The CCGs are working closely with the providers to make sure that there is a smooth transition between the different organisations so staff are able to continue to carry out their duties and continue to deliver a quality service to patients.”

Telephone numbers previously used to access out of hours services remain unchanged.