The must read stories in health policy from Friday

Vanguards are neck and neck

A leading vanguard project has laid down its marker in the race to have the country’s first fully constituted MCP.

The All Together Better Sunderland multispecialty community provider vanguard is hoping to have a single organisation running the £340m contract by April 2018.

This puts it neck and neck with Dudley, which is also hoping to have its new care model up and running with a single provider and contract by April 2018.

While Dudley is further ahead in that it is currently in the procurement process for the single £244m annual contract, Sunderland CCG has set out its ambition to have its vanguard up and running in the same period.

HSJ revealed that the city’s CCG is looking to have one £340m contract to provide all its MCP services.

While the new care model has already brought health services, social care and the voluntary sector together into five integrated teams to provide the care, the CCG is now looking to formalise the service under one £340m contract.

A statement of intent to create a single provider for the MCP has been signed by the vanguard project’s partners including the CCG, council, mental health and acute trusts and the Sunderland GP Alliance.

Now leaders will draw up a business case outlining what the new MCP provider entity will look like, while the CCG and city council work out the contracting and procurement details.

While it is an ambitious target, it puts the North East’s MCP in line to be one of the first fully live MCPs in country.

The race is on.