As you may know, there are three APMS practices in Sunderland whose contracts expire this year. As such, the CCG made a decision to put the contract out to tender (as one combined contract), and following consultation with our members at the AGM, the Alliance submitted a tender response.

Members expressed the view that it would be helpful for practices within Sunderland to be run by an organisation owned by the GPs of Sunderland.

I’m now delighted to be able to confirm that the Alliance was successful and the CCG intends to enter into a contract with us for the provision of APMS services. The contract will last for nine years, with an option to extend for a further two years. Service delivery will commence on 1st October.

This is excellent news for General Practice within the city, and we are very much looking forward to working with staff and patients to continue to improve services within Sunderland. This is another big step in the development of our organisation and it allows us to explore more at-scale opportunities. This collaborative approach has already recruited ten new GPs to the city in a time of GP shortage, and eight pharmacists to help relieve some of the burden on the clinical workforce. It has brought additional services into the General Practice sector that, for example, reduce patient waiting times for ECG scans, and that will help diagnose up to 1,200 patients with undetected Atrial Fibrillation, preventing up to 20 strokes per year. At the same time, we have attracted over £2m of national funding to the city dedicated to improving patient services.

As the mobilisation process develops we will, of course, keep you up to date through the usual channels, and in particular the newsletter. In the meantime, thank you again for the support everyone has offered on our journey so far.