It was recently announced that private healthcare provider Care UK has acquired Harmoni, the UK’s largest GP out-of-hours provider for £48 millon. The new combined organisation will provide unscheduled care to more than 15 million patients.

It was not so long ago that Harmoni and Care UK went head-to-head over a number of the Government’s NHS 111 contracts, with Harmoni coming out on top and in the process, becoming the most successful out-of-hours provider of the 111 service.

We also found out last month that Jim Easton, the former director of improvement and efficiency at the Department of Health, is to join Care UK as managing director.

Care UK chief executive Mike Parish, said: “Bringing Harmoni into the Care UK healthcare organisation will help us to help commissioners within the NHS make the most effective use of their resources, making sure that unscheduled treatment, including out of hours needs, takes place in the most appropriate setting.”

Edmund Jahn, Harmoni’s managing director, commented: “Becoming part of the Care UK family is hugely positive news for out patients, our commissioners and the colleagues who deliver high quality care across all our services. It gives all our services a strong and sustainable platform for the future as we work within Care UK to support the NHS.”