COMMERCIAL: Avon and Wiltshire Partnership Trust has agreed to settle a legal action bought against North Somerset District Council over a recent tender exercise.

The mental health trust lost out on the contract for community drug treatment in North Somerset to the charity Addaction. The trust launched a legal action challenging the tender process.

A joint statement said the decision to award the contract was not a reflection of the service AWP provides.

It said: “Following a tender process, the Council has now appointed Addaction to provide community drug treatment services in North Somerset. A legal action brought on behalf of AWP, which raised a number of complaints about the tender process, has now been settled on confidential terms enabling the Council to proceed with the award of the contract to Addaction.

“The contract is divided into two lots: provision of specialist prescribing and shared care support/administration (lot one) and provision of a criminal justice intervention team service, harm reduction services, day programme and psychosocial interventions (lot two). AWP submitted a strong bid for lot one. AWP did not bid for lot two and, as there was not a strong submission from any other bidder for lot two alone, this heavily impacted on AWP’s prospects of winning the contract.

“The decision to award a joint contract for lots 1 and 2 to Addaction is therefore not a reflection on the service that AWP provides. The Council would like to thank AWP and its staff for the valued service it has provided to date. The Council, AWP and Addaction will now be working together to ensure a smooth handover.”