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Sustainability and Transformation Partnerships’ Care Closer to Home schemes have fuelled a £10m corporate purchase of a doctorpreneurs’ out-of- hours/urgent care company that provides services to over nine million patients across the UK.
Totally Ltd intends to use this purchase to expand and corner “a massive market opportunity” in out-of-hospital services.
“an important player in the UK healthcare system,
with a growing range of healthcare services to offer improved care
for those whose conditions can be better treated at home, locally, or in the community.”
With regard to Question 1 in the Call to Action section (above) a response by NHS Bath and North East Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group to a Freedom of Information request about the Totally Ltd takeover of Vocare stated:
“In May 2017 and July 2017, Vocare received warning notices from the CQC in relation to the services provided at St Mary’s urgent care centre in Paddington, London, Somerset OOH and at Wolverhampton urgent care at New Cross Hospital. Remedial action plans in relation to these services have been implemented and, where appropriate, new local management teams have been recruited to address these issues. Re-inspections have been undertaken by the CQC and the inspection reports on Somerset OOH and St Mary’s have been published. These inspection reports are in line with previous recommendations under the action plans.”
With the assistance of external consultants, Committed Network, and with support from Totally’s own quality experts, Vocare’s governance and assurance arrangements have been reviewed and a programme is in place to comprehensively restructure them. In the second half of 2017, a further two services have been inspected by CQC and, whilst Vocare is awaiting formal notification of the outcome from these CQC inspections, initial feedback has been positive.
A total of five contracts that are managed by Vocare are subject to remedial action plans with the respective CCGs. They cover the NHS 111 services in Staffordshire and Somerset, Somerset OOH, the urgent care centres at St Mary’s, Paddington and New Cross Hospital, Wolverhampton and the integrated urgent care services in South West London and Scarborough.”
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Vocare Ltd, which has numerous contracts across England for NHS 111 and out–of-hours and urgent care, has recently been bought by Totally plc, a private healthcare company whose current plan is: “to build and develop a high quality diversified out-of-hospital UK healthcare services group… from diagnosis through to discharge.”
Commenting on the purchase, Totally’s Chairman Bob Holt OBE said that the NHS represents a massive market opportunity and that the purchase of Vocare Ltd had boosted their NHS contracts income from £10m/year to £100m/year.
Before buying Vocare Ltd, the Chair of Totally wrote to shareholders that: “[T]he Acquisition allows the Group to obtain a foothold in the urgent care sector in the UK with Vocare being one of the leading privately owned providers of integrated urgent care services in the UK.”
He explained: “[T]here has been an overall trend for the NHS and local authorities to seek to move the less acute or critical components of patient care from larger hospitals into smaller NHS premises… This process often takes place via outsourcing to private sector service providers such as Vocare. The Directors believe therefore that there is a significant opportunity for Totally to build and develop a high quality diversified out-of-hospital UK healthcare services group.”
He also said that the NHS represents a massive market opportunity and that the purchase of Vocare Ltd had boosted their NHS contracts income from £10m/year to £100m/year.
Totally’s “business” currently consists of those companies you see on the right of the page. The company describes itself as: “an important player in the UK healthcare system, with a growing range of healthcare services to offer improved care for those whose conditions can be better treated at home, locally, or in the community.”
Despite the need for beefed up community services to deliver care out of hospital, after hospital beds and resources have been slashed in line with the STPs/ Accountable Care Models, NHS England has washed its hands of responsibility for a national strategy for community services. CLICK HERE
Perhaps they are relying on the “massive market opportunity” this presents to pull in more private providers. Or else charities - a softer form of privatisation. CLICK HERE
“The acquisition of Vocare was very transformational for us. It provides a significant platform for future growth…It’s taken us from £10m [NHS] revenues to £100m revenues… This is a large market. The NHS currently outsources £20bn of services. Clearly we’d like to take quite a bit more of that.”
Notice how "BOB" gets in the spin that their business is helping the NHS deal with all the pressures on it.
Vocare operates in Somerset, Devon,Staffordshire, SW London, Yorkshire, the North East and Wolverhampton, and since 1 December 2017, in Cornwall - not yet added to the Vocare map. CLICK IN THE RED BOX TO SEE MAP
If you live in an area that’s affected, please make sure that the public, your MP and your Councillors all know that their NHS services for NHS 111, out–of-hours and /urgent care (the contracts vary with different areas) have just been taken over - without so much as a by your leave - by a private company with designs on a far greater slice of the ever-growing NHS privatisation pie.
Please also ask your Clinical Commissioning Group/s and Local Authority:
1. For an update on the remedial action plans for their Vocare/Totally Ltd NHS 111 services in Staffordshire and Somerset, Somerset OOH, the urgent care centres at St Mary’s, Paddington and New Cross Hospital, Wolverhampton and the integrated urgent care services in South West London and Scarborough, following Vocare improvements identified as necessary by the Care Quality Commission.
2. What their view is of Totally Ltd’s declaration that their Sustainability and Transformation Plan/ Accountable Care Models offer private companies a “massive market opportunity”
3. The end date for their Vocare contract
4. What their plans are for procuring these services when the contract ends
You can send us your findings by email firstname.lastname@example.org
If you have further questions contact us on the same email.
Here is where you can read more about this company and its take on the huge privatisation opportunities opened up by the current redisorganisation of the NHS and social care into Accountable Care Organisations and Systems - now re-branded by NHS England as Integrated Care Organisations/Systems.