STRUCTURE: Dorset County Hospital Foundation Trust plans to increase its provision of integrated out-of-hospital services during 2014-15, board papers reveal.

However, the trust’s risk register warns the ambition is at a high risk of failing due to commissioners deciding not to tender community services.

The £152m-turnover district general hospital already provides some outreach community services but wants to acquire or develop “appropriate community services, which enhance an integrated pathway for patients”.

Community services in the patch are currently provided by Dorset Healthcare University Foundation Trust, a mental health trust which took on the services in 2011.

The trust was subsequently heavily criticised by the Care Quality Commission for the quality of these services, leading to intervention from the foundation trust regulator Monitor to remove the chair and chief executive. However, performance is improving under new leadership.

The contract for the services expires in 2016. However, Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group, which holds the contract, may decide not to retender the services in favour of driving closer working between existing providers in the county.

The CCG is currently leading a Dorset-wide review to examine how to improve integration between services.

Dorset County Hospital’s risk register also warns the pace of change stemming from the review is too slow.