Health secretary asked to halt £1bn community services tender

An MP has asked health secretary Matt Hancock to halt the “potentially disastrous” procurement of community services worth more than £1bn, after claiming the process does not align with the NHS long-term plan.

Earlier this month, Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group agreed to launch a tender for one single provider of adult community services under a 10 year contract. Community services in the region are currently provided by three different social enterprises.

But Karin Smyth, Labour’s MP for Bristol South, has asked Mr Hancock to “intervene as a matter of urgency”.

In her letter to the health and social care secretary, Ms Smyth said the NHS long-term plan “clearly seeks to remove barriers to place based commissioning”, and “recognises that currently the rules and processes for procurement… are skewed more towards fostering competition than to enabling rapid integration of care planning and delivery”.

Full story in the HSJ, 17 January 2019