Top FT challenges CCG over ‘unsafe’ urgent care procurement

A leading foundation trust rated outstanding has accused one of its commissioners of a potentially “unsafe and unsustainable” procurement, and has launched a legal challenge to the process.

Northumbria Healthcare Foundation Trust – whose substantive chief executive is Jim Mackey – said it had launched the challenge against North Tyneside Clinical Commissioning Group over the procurement of a new urgent care centre for the area.

The FT said the CCG’s tender required providers to find more than £2.4m of savings, and that this would make the service unsafe and unsustainable.

The CCG’s proposal is to replace three walk-in centres and an out of hours GP service with a single 24/7 urgent care centre, with the new facility due to open in October. The CCG began the tendering process in January and it finished in February, with a 10 day standstill period in April.

However, a row between the CCG and trust started over the location of the new urgent care centre. The CCG’s consultation preferred the North Tyneside General Hospital site in Rake Lane, run by Northumbria Healthcare. The trust said last year any service on that site that it did not itself operate would be “unfeasible”.

Full story in The HSJ, 19 June 2017