COMMERCIAL: Secondary mental health services in Bristol are to be put out to tender after clinicians raised concerns about the quality being delivered by the current provider.

A recent report to the NHS Bristol board said an engagement exercise with stakeholders including GPs raised “considerable concerns” about services provided by Avon and Wiltshire Partnership Trust.

Issues raised included waiting times, coordination of care and access to crisis teams as well as complaints about “managerial style” and “poor” attitude of staff. The report said the concerns were supported by performance data about the trust.

The primary care trust is due to begin the procurement process by publishing a prior indicative notice later this year, following further development work. It aims to have completed the tendering process by April 2013.

NHS Bristol paid the trust £45m for the services in 2010-11, which is equivalent to around a third of the mental health trust’s income.

A spokesman for Avon and Wiltshire said the trust recognised there were “aspects” of some services that needed improving and was “already implementing changes to deal with these concerns”.

He said the trust recognised “competitive tendering is a feature of the new NHS” and that its future plans did not rely on it winning every contract that was put out to tender.