• Single bidder wins CCG’s community services contract
  • Bidder is a partnership led by main acute trust
  • In partnership with social enterprise - the incumbent provider - and the area’s GP federations

A clinical commissioning group has welcomed the “really good potential for integrated care” after a partnership led by its main hospital trust was the only bidder for its community health services contract.

The contract for Surrey Downs CCG has been awarded to the partnership led by Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals Trust.

The trust bid in partnership with the social enterprise CSH Surrey – which was the incumbent provider – and several GP federations. The federations are GP Health Partners in Epsom, Leatherhead and Ewell; Dorking Healthcare; and Surrey Medical Network in the East Elmbridge area.

The three year contract is worth £61.5m. The group – called the Integrated Dorking, Epsom and East Elmbridge Alliance - will take over the contract from 1 October.

Its bid was the only one despite over 20 expressions of interest at an earlier stage.

Matthew Tait, accountable officer for Surrey Downs CCG in addition to two neighbouring CCGs, told HSJ he was happy with the outcome.

“It is a competitive bid… I don’t think the bid was weak,” he said. “In every collaborative model you need the right element of competition and that will depend on local conditions and local providers.

“It gives us really good potential for integrated care across the system.”

The initial three year contract could be extended by up to two years, potentially lasting until late 2023.

CSH Surrey is expected to continue to provide the bulk of the services and there will be no transfer staff when the contract commences. It is expected that many staff will work together in combined teams based at primary care hubs.

Surrey Downs is one of three CCGs in the Surrey Heartlands sustainability and transformation partnership, which has also been designated by NHS England as an “integrated care system”, having been identified by government as a health and care “devolution” area.

All three of the CCGs have previously contracted separately for community services. Mr Tait said: “One of the factors about the Surrey Heartlands patch is that we do have a range of local providers and local geographies – we have systems within systems. It is interesting that we have different models in each of our three patches. There is no one size fits all approach.”

Guildford and Waverley CCG has contracted with its main acute trust and a GP federation to provide community services from this April, while North West Surrey’s services have been provided by CSH Surrey since last April.