Cambridgeshire Community Services Trust looks set to lose four in 10 of its workforce after a rival NHS led consortium secured preferred bidder status for an £800m older people’s service contract.

The trust had previously been in the running to provide some of the service as members of two other consortia withdrew their bids.

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group announced Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Foundation Trust’s consortium as its preferred bidder for the integrated care contract on 1 October.

The Uniting Care Partnership consortium, which includes the foundation trust, is expected to sign the contract later this month, provided losing bidders do not contest the decision.

This formal sign off would trigger a process to transfer around 1,400 of the community services trust’s 3,540 strong workforce to the partnership under Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) regulations ahead of the new arrangements going live in April next year.

The trust currently runs the community services element of the work, which accounts for about a third of its £155m revenue in 2013-14.

Its chief executive Matthew Winn told HSJ he was confident it would remain viable, despite the substantial loss in revenues and headcount.

“[The trust] remains a viable organisation, larger than or the same size as some community trusts across the country,” he said.

“Procurements are now a way of life within the NHS.”

The trust had recently won five multimillion pound contracts and continued to bid for a range of additional contracts, Mr Winn said.

“Each of the tenders we have won are for three years or more, and bring additional resources and security into the trust, as well as ensuring other commissioners and populations benefit from our expertise in providing specialist community services.

“The trust’s five year strategy therefore sets out our plans for creating a high quality, financially stable trust that operates over a wide geography.”

The community services provider had been part of two consortium bids for the £800m contract.

First as part of a consortium with Capita and private health firm Circle, and then with Optum, formerly UnitedHealth UK, when Capita opted to withdraw from the process.

Its bid with Optum was withdrawn in March.

The community services trust was rated “good” by the Care Quality Commission in August.

Inspectors said they were “pleased to find many areas of very good practice across all core service areas”, but said staff shortages had to be addressed.