Adult community services in Surrey face a shake-up next year, with clinical commissioning groups choosing to work alone rather than commission across the county.
Virgin Care has run the services in much of the west of the county since 2012 when NHS Surrey went out to tender for a provider.
“We are currently reviewing community services based on the needs of our local population”
However, as this contract draws to a close the individual CCGs are commissioning services themselves – raising the prospect that several providers could be chosen and services fragmented.
The move came after a notice had already been placed on the government’s contracts finder website by NHS Commercial Solutions outlining a “future opportunity” to bid for a £425m, five year contract covering adult community services and some children’s services in Surrey.
This would have involved unspecified Surrey CCGs and the county council. However, this plan changed radically at the end of 2015.
Guildford and Waverley CCG launched an invitation to tender earlier this year, for a contract of approximately £20m a year for 10 years starting in April 2017.
Among the organisations which attended its pre-market engagement event were Virgin Care, local acute trusts, CSH Surrey – a community interest company which provides community services in other parts of Surrey – and a number of other community trusts.
The CCG has said it wants an integrated approach and envisages services being accessed through a “one stop shop” with the voluntary sector and local communities engaged in offering support for people.
It is looking initially for an alliance model with providers working together collectively moving to a prime provider two years later. It has suggested that some services currently provided by the acute sector could be included later, including rheumatology, cardiology, urology and musculoskeletal services.
North West Surrey CCG has also launched a procurement exercise, based around a five year contract and a £101m total value.
Surrey Heath CCG said: “We are currently reviewing community services based on the needs of our local population and are unable to comment further while this review is taking place.”
A smaller social enterprise, First Community Health and Care, was created in 2011 and has run community services in east Surrey. The CCG is still looking at options for when the current contract runs out next year but any process is likely to be separate from other CCGs.
Surrey Downs CCG has CSH Surrey as its main provider and is not looking to re-procure at the moment, although it is having a separate consultation about the future shape of its community hospitals. The CSH contract runs until March 2018.