Preferred Bidder Chosen To Take Over Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Services

1 October 2014, 11:02 | Updated: 1 October 2014, 11:16

Preferred Bidder selected to improve older people's healthcare and adult community health services in Cambridgeshire.

UnitingCare Partnership has been selected as the Preferred Bidder to improve older people's healthcare and adult community services across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.

UnitingCare Partnership is a consortium of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust with Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

The selection has been made by the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group.

The CCG say "The programme's aim is to get the best possible services for older people, particularly the elderly and frail, and adults with long term conditions, providing healthcare in more joined-up and innovative ways."

UnitingCare Partnership was selected after a 15-month service design and procurement process to find a Lead Provider of older people's healthcare and adult community services, who is able to integrate services, providing more joined-up care for patients.

The Lead Provider will be responsible for ensuring care is much better coordinated. They will directly provide adult community health services and hold the budget for the following services:

  • Urgent care for adults aged over 65 including inpatients as well as A&E services
  • Mental Health Services for people aged over 65
  • Adult (all people over 18) community health services for example, district nursing, rehabilitation and therapy after injury or illness,, speech and language therapy, care for patients with complex wounds, support for people with respiratory disease or diabetes
  • Other health services which support the care of people aged over 65.

As a direct provider of adult (people over 18) community health services, the Lead Provider will employ staff who currently provide these services.

Commonly NHS contracts are just one or two years in length. This contract is different in that it is a five-year contract.

A set of criteria (What do good services look like?) called an Outcomes Framework has been developed. This will form part of the contract with the Lead Provider. Their performance will be measured against it, with payment linked to achieving the outcomes. This will drive quality improvements across the whole service.

The Lead Provider will need to work closely with GPs, social services (provided by local authorities) and with others, including ambulance services, out-of-hours services, voluntary organisations and housing services.

The Chief Clinical Officer for the CCG Dr Neil Modha said: "The aim is to have a single Lead Provider responsible for older people's healthcare services and adult community health services, ensuring that care is more joined up than it has been, with a focus on improving the patient experience.

 "The design and procurement process has allowed people from a range of organisations to come together, develop and propose solutions to some of the service problems that have challenged us for many years.

"I would like to extend the CCG's thanks to all those that have contributed to this process to date, including patients, clinicians and Local Authority colleagues.
"The final submissions from all three bidders reflected the hard work they have all undertaken to produce proposals for improving care for our patients.

"We have been impressed by the constructive way in which they have engaged with the CCG and other stakeholders, and the commitment they have all shown to improving outcomes."

UnitingCare Partnership will start delivering services on 1 April 2015, the expected start date for the new older people's pathway and adult community services.

The Clinical Lead for the Older People's Programme, Dr Arnold Fertig said: "The first task is to ensure there is a smooth transition of services, and to prepare for making the improvements in services and patient experience we all want to see.

"During this time the CCG and the new Lead Provider will work with existing providers of community health services to ensure that patients experience a seamless change from one provider to another."

In a joint statement Uniting Care Partnership's  Aidan Thomas and Dr Keith McNeil said:

"We are delighted that our NHS-led consortium, UnitingCare Partnership, has been appointed preferred bidder for the provision of older people's healthcare and adult community services.

"We look forward to further discussions with the CCG to reach agreement on a formal contract that will enable us to begin to deliver the vital improvements to care for older people."

MP fro Cambridge Julian Huppert has welcomed the news that the new combined acute, community and mental health services for elderly people will be run by the NHS.
Julian has been campaigning to ensure these services would be provided by the NHS rather than privatised and is confident the decision will lead to a smooth transition of care and a much more cohesive service, providing better healthcare to patients.
He spoke out after the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group decided today (Wednesday, October 1) to award the contract for older people's services to Uniting Care - the Addenbrooke's Hospital Trust and the Cambridge and Peterborough Foundation Trust.
"I believe that Cambridgeshire's health commissioners have made the right decision," he said. "This service will provide care services for some of our most vulnerable people, and I believe that Addenbrooke's and the mental health trust's local knowledge and record of innovation will enable them to provide a better service than any private company ever could.
"I opposed Andrew Lansley's Health and Social Care Act because I want services to stay in the NHS, where the quality of health care is prioritised, whereas private companies have an obligation to generate a profit for their shareholders.
"Cambridgeshire has experienced these problems perhaps more acutely than any other part of the UK. Under Labour, vast sums of public money were committed to extortionate Private Finance Initiative contracts at Hinchingbrooke and Peterborough City Hospitals, which continue to drain off tens of millions of pounds a year from NHS budgets. The £1bn contract to run Hinchingbrooke hospital, that Labour put out to the private sector, is still the biggest in the country, and was criticised by the CQC just this week for patient neglect.
"This is consistent with the picture nationally. In the 13 years that Labour ran our country; they increased spending on non-NHS providers from around £1 billion to almost £7.5 billion."
"Our NHS was set up to provide care for all at the point of need, not as a money-making concern to give returns to investors. I am confident this decision to put elderly care in the hands of the NHS means patient care will remain the overriding priority."

Cambridge Labour Parliamentary Candidate Daniel Zeichner says:

"I am delighted that Addenbrookes has won the contract - this will reassure patients who faced being guinea pigs in an unwanted trial, and reassure staff who have been understandably concerned about their future. But I am incredibly angry about the money that has been wasted on consultants, lawyers and advisers - which runs to many millions of pounds. All that money could have been better spent training much-needed nurses. After almost three years of uncertainty, we still end up with a less integrated service than we started with, because social care has been transferred back to the County Council. The CCG was forced to go out to tender because of the Health and Social Care Act imposed by Conservatives and Liberal Democrats - Labour will abolish it, and build genuine integration through co-operation, not competition."

Campaign group Stop the NHS Sell-Off in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough have welcomed the decision of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) to award the contract for Older People's and Adult Community Services to the Uniting Care Partnership (UCP).

They say, "This is a consortium of two local NHS Trusts, Cambridge University Hospitals and Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Foundation Trust, so the decision to award them the contract means these services remain under NHS management and control. The alternative would have been to hand nearly £1 billion's worth of services to a private company, either Virgin Care or a consortium headed by Care UK.

"At the same time, Stop the NHS Sell-Off - a broad group including unions, campaign organisations and individuals - is highly critical of the process adopted by the CCG, saying that over £1 million had been wasted on an unnecessary exercise which created a great deal of uncertainty for patients and staff, and opened the service up to a potential privatisation that nobody voted for or wanted."

A campaign spokesperson said: 'We collected around 5,500 signatures from members of the public who opposed any transfer of the NHS to private, profit-seeking companies, and we are aware of strong concerns being expressed by other organisations as well. We are glad the CCG has listened to those concerns and awarded this contract to an NHS consortium. We believe that without this campaign the service is much more likely to have ended up in private hands.

'However, we believe the competitive procurement process was both unnecessary and highly wasteful. The aim of achieving a more integrated service for older people's care could have been achieved by taking steps for existing NHS providers to work more closely together without exposing the service to the risk of privatisation, as we have stressed right from the outset. There was also great concern that the main existing provider of community NHS services - Cambridgeshire Community Services - was excluded from the final bidding process altogether, despite being recognised as one of the best NHS organisations in the country.

'We now call on the CCG, UCP and other NHS organisations to work together to provide the services the community needs, and to fully support all the staff involved in delivering those services.

'We further call on the CCG to abandon this costly, ruinous privatisation route for other services, and instead concentrate on working with current public providers to improve our local NHS services, not to sell them off.'