STRUCTURE: NHS Cornwall and Isles of Scilly has delayed approving the transfer of its community services to a social enterprise until the end of June.

Peninsula Community Health community interest company was registered with Companies House on 17 March 2011. The primary care trust board was due to make a decision on the viability of the CIC at the end of March but NHS South West agreed to extend the deadline until the end of June while the chair and chief executive designate work through gaps in the due diligence report.

The plan has been controversial locally with a 5,100 signature petition presented to Cornwall Council. However, the Local Medical Committee backed the establishment of a CIC and the chairs of local practice based commissioning groups wrote to the local media to demonstrate support for the proposals.

Children’s community health services transferred to Cornwall Partnership Foundation Trust at the end of March. Minutes from a recent board meeting recorded that “key” issues around sustainability of the CIC was the need for “clarity with the banks about the future of the CIC in order to secure financial facilities” and the issue of the adult community health services contract.

The minutes report: “DH guidance suggested a three-year contract should be issued although discussions might include a three-year break clause in a five-year
contract. This would require agreement with the local commissioning consortia.”