Harmoni was founded in September 1996 by two doctors, Dr David Lloyd and Dr Nizar Merali, as a GP co-operative. The name Harmoni, was derived from Harrow Medics Out of Hours Network Inc.
Dr Nizar Merali writes:
"In 1996, with fellow colleague, Dr David Lloyd, we established Harmoni as a successful GP co-operative in Harrow.
Prior to 1996, the 125 GPs in Harrow provided the out of hours service to their patients in a haphazard manner. The majority outsourced to two previous private companies; Medicall and Healthcall. Some larger practices created an internal rotation, but only operated until 11pm and then handed over to Medicall or Healthcall. This created a very inefficient system in the local health economy for example; there could be as many as 10 to 20 GPs on call on a Saturday afternoon twiddling their thumbs.
David Lloyd and I stood up one Wednesday afternoon in front of our colleagues and claimed that we could develop a model for the provision of the out of hours service for all of the Harrow population. We would provide a consistent, reliable and high-quality service and yet create a saving for most GPs. In September 1996 after umpteen meetings, some into the early hours of the morning, the Harmoni model for out of hours care was born. Every call was triaged by a nurse with the following outcomes: 50% of calls managed over the phone, 35% managed by face-to-face consultation at the primary care centre, and only 15% required a home visit. Initially the visiting part of the service was outsourced to Medicall and Healthcall; however, within 18 months of its inception, Hillingdon, Brent and Ealing GPs had joined Harmoni and we arranged our own fleet, drivers and visiting doctors."
As of 6th November 2012, Harmoni is a wholly owned subsidiary of Care UK. For more information about Care UK please visit www.careuk.com.