• Humber Foundation Trust drops legal challenge to CCG over contract award
  • Commissioners say successful bidder will be announced “shortly”

A struggling foundation trust has withdrawn a High Court legal challenge over its losing out on a five-year community services contract.

Humber Foundation Trust confirmed this morning it was not going to pursue its legal challenge against East Riding of Yorkshire Clinical Commissioning Group, after it awarded the contract to another bidder.

The U-turn followed the trust asking the High Court last week to consider the criteria used by the CCG to award the contract to a rival.

The Hull Daily Mail reported the contract, which is due to begin in April, had been awarded to City Health Care Partnership, but the CCG refused to confirm to HSJ who the successful bidder was.

Humber FT is the current provider of community services to East Riding, although the contract value has not been confirmed. But the trust’s annual report says it was paid nearly £43m for community services by CCGs and NHS England in 2015-16, nearly a third of its £130.5m income for that year. East Riding CCG commissioned £55.6m of services from Humber FT during the same year.

The FT’s interim chief executive Michele Moran said the legal challenge had allowed the trust to properly investigate the procurement process.

She added: “We do not feel it is in the interests of patients, our staff or the public to further pursue the tender through the court. It is with this in mind that we have therefore withdrawn our objections to the court.”

The trust said it was working with NHS Improvement to review the tender process and would continue to provide the services until the new provider takes over.

The contract decision is a further blow to the struggling trust, which was rated as “inadequate” for safety by the Care Quality Commission in August, although it was judged overall as “requires improvement”. It was given a rating of “good” for its community services.

East Riding CCG chief officer Jane Hawkard said the organisation was pleased the legal challenge had been withdrawn and that the successful bidder will be announced “shortly”.

She added: “The future will see community services working much more closely together across both health and social care.

“Patients will receive more care in a community setting, closer to, or in their own homes and the new provider will be contracted to deliver more personalised, joined-up care that supports and encourages patients to manage their own condition, where it is safe and appropriate to do so.”