COMMERCIAL: Devon Partnership Trust has decided to extend its contract to provide services at the county’s three prisons by two years.

The initial contract was for a three year period from August 2009 to July 2012 to provide mental health services as part of the Devon Prisons Health Partnership with social enterprise Devon Health.

However, the commissioner NHS Devon asked the trust to confirm whether it wished to continue the contract beyond the initial period to allow time to prepare for and manage the re-tendering process if necessary. 

A report to the Devon Partnership Board states: “The trust retains the option of giving twelve months notice should this become necessary but, while many lessons have been learned in the management of this contract, the majority of problems have been overcome. 

“It was felt strongly that the interests of patients, in this case, prisoners, had been well served by the improvements in care which had resulted from the trust taking over the contract and improvements were continuing to be made.”