A private company led consortium including two NHS trusts is now the only remaining bidder for a 10 year, £687m cancer services contract in Staffordshire, HSJ can reveal.

A statement leaked to HSJ shows the four Staffordshire clinical commissioning groups involved in the procurement, part of a wider £1.2bn tender process for cancer and end of life care, say the consortium was formed after two of the original five bidders pulled out.

The statement by the four CCGs and NHS England, due to be released this week, does not name the members of the consortium but a number of sources have confirmed to HSJ that it will be led by private company Interserve Investments. University Hospital North Midlands and the Royal Wolverhampton trusts will be partners.

Women in scanner

A private company led consortium is the only remaining bidder for the £687m cancer services contract

Optum, formerly UnitedHealth UK, and health management company CSC are understood to have withdrawn their bids.

The main focus of the procurement is to form a “service integrator” to bring together services across Staffordshire, and improve the outcomes and experience for patients over the next decade.

Under the prime provider model, the consortium will be responsible to the CCGs for the outcomes of the contract, but could subcontract providers to deliver services to patients or deliver them itself.

HSJ revealed last week that discussions were taking place between bidders after the CCGs made clear their preference was a consortium bid.

An adjournment debate in the House of Commons tonight will debate health services in Staffordshire, and a final statement is expected to be published afterwards.

The CCGs – North Staffordshire, Stoke on Trent, Stafford and Surrounds, and Cannock Chase – will say: “The procurement of a service integrator for cancer has reached an important point in the process. During the competitive dialogue that we entered into with bidders on the programme, a number of individual organisations and providers made the decision to come together and form a bidding consortium.

“This bidding consortium brings together the public and private sector, including two local NHS trusts. The bidding consortium will bring together a wide range of skills and expertise to implement this innovative approach to the commissioning of cancer care.”

The statement adds: “The bidding consortium is the last remaining bidder for the role of service integrator for the cancer programme.”

A formal proposal will be submitted by the consortium in the next few months to be evaluated by the commissioners before the contract is awarded in December.

The Transforming Cancer and End of Life Care programme is split into two parts:

  • cancer, worth £687m; and
  • end of life care, worth £535m.

Virgin Care, CSC Health Management, Interserve Investments and Optum have been named as bidders for the end of life care contract. A decision on this tender has been delayed until next year.