Staffordshire NHS bosses: ‘Failed cancer care sell-off was NOT a waste of £840k’ – do you agree?

NHS bosses have defended a controversial cancer care ‘privatisation’ programme – which ended with no-one being awarded the £690m contract.

Four Staffordshire CCGs spent four years and £840,000 trying to find a ‘prime provider’ to co-ordinate their cancer and end-of-life services, to make them more joined-up and effective.

But the CCGS were unable to award the cancer contract to the final bidder – Together, a public-private consortium – due to concerns over its ability to manage financial risk.

Andrew Donald, who was the senior officer responsible for the programme, was quizzed about the failure of the procurement by Stoke-on-Trent city councillors.

He told the adults and neighbourhoods overview and scrutiny committee why the contract could not be awarded. But he rejected suggestions that the process had been a waste of time and money.

Mr Donald, who has now retired, said: “The bidder couldn’t demonstrate how they were going to manage the risks we were asking them to manage in our proposals. We had asked them to increase the number of cancer patients being treated by 10 per cent but with no extra resources. They couldn’t demonstrate that to us, and so we couldn’t award the contract.

“People have said to me that it’s been a waste of time and money. It’s been around £65,000 a year for each of the CCGs. But those are the costs of procurement. We had to make sure we were doing things properly. And that total cost only represents around 0.01 per cent of the CCGs’ budgets.

“People might say that it’s been a waste of time and effort, but it hasn’t been. What happens now is that all the work we’ve done to date, all the modelling, all the patient experience work, all that goes forward to the sustainability and transformation plan (STP).”

Article from The Stoke Sentinel, 8 May 2017