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Bidding for NHS contracts - Private providers: Atos Origin profile

Fiona Barr describes this company's activities and plans.

Atos Origin's primary care presence is relatively small at the moment, although it is the largest employer of doctors in the UK outside the NHS through its work in occupational health. It has the contract to provide occupational health services and medical assessments for the Department for Work and Pensions and sees more than 500,000 people each year.

Like the other multinational companies showing an interest in primary care, it has the infrastructure to make a formidable opponent when contracts come up for grabs because it will be strong on procurement, branding and price.

However, the company has also shown that it is willing to walk away from tenders that it is not happy with.


  • Primary care presence: An international IT services company, Atos Origin has the contract to run Choose and Book in England and a £300 million contract to be the principal IT services partner to NHS Scotland. Its Atos Healthcare division runs two GP practices and two walk-in centres.
  • Success to date: The company beat off strong competition from local practices to win the St Paul's Way surgery APMS contract in Tower Hamlets, London although its bid prompted demonstrations by local GPs and patients. It has also won the contract to run a practice in Shinfield, Berkshire and it won two of the first seven contracts for walk-in centres, based in London and Manchester.
  • Plans for future: The company is likely to target more APMS contracts for GP practices as well as polyclinics and GP-led health centres.
  • Worth noting: It recently withdrew its interest to run a GP-led health centre in Sheffield.
  • Rating: Strong health presence though limited in primary care so far.
  • Financial information: The company's revenue for the year ending 31 December 2007 was EUR5,855 million (£4,533 million) with profits of EUR140 million (£109 million).
  • Find out more www.atoshealthcare.com

You can find all of the articles from our Bidding for NHS Contracts series at www.healthcarerepublic.com/bidding

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