COMMERCIAL: East London Foundation Trust has been chosen by two clinical commissioning groups to deliver mental health services contracts worth £60m in Bedfordshire and Luton.

Under the two new contracts, awarded by Bedfordshire and Luton CCGs, 1,000 staff will transfer to the trust from 1 April. Many of the services will transfer from South Essex Partnership University FT.

The Bedfordshire contract will run for seven years with an option to extend by an extra two years. It will cover improving access to psychological therapies, older adult mental health and learning disability services, adult rehabilitation and recovery services and child and adolescent mental health services.

The Luton contract has a five year term with an option to extend by a further two years. It will cover adult and older adult mental health services and child and adolescent mental health services.

HSJ reported last week that Bedfordshire CCG could face a £40m deficit by the end of the year. The CCG plans to work with East London to repatriate out of area patients using services in the country to a local service “at a lesser cost”, according to its March board papers.

Luton and Bedfordshire CCGs have struggled to increase patient access via Improving Access to Psychological Therapies programme, according to both their most recent board papers.

The trust will be expected to deliver improvements on the IAPT programme.

Bedfordshire CCG wants to:

  • refurbish the Weller Wing of Bedford Hospital;
  • agree a risk share for current overspending on out of area mental health placements with East London; and
  • develop a liaison psychiatry service at Bedford Hospital, according to its board papers.

East London chief executive Robert Dolan said: “We are delighted at this opportunity to expand [our] role further afield into Bedfordshire and Luton. The trust has a strong track record for innovation and quality, and we are excited to work with new colleagues with different perspectives, knowledge and experience.

“Our bid for the services has user and staff engagement at the heart and a commitment to delivering high quality care for all patients and their families. We look forward to pooling our collective expertise and skills to provide the best support to those in our care.”