The second tender for commissioning support services awarded via NHS England’s procurement framework has gone to Midlands and Lancashire Commissioning Support Unit.

  • Midlands and Lancashire CSU wins second contract from NHS England procurement framework
  • CSU will provide range of services to 12 CCGs across Cheshire and Merseyside
  • Contract value understood to be greatly below the deal held by previous support provider

The CSU has been named as preferred provider of a full range of support services to 12 clinical commissioning groups across Cheshire and Merseyside.


The CSU will provide services to 12 CCGs across Cheshire and Merseyside

The three year contract, with the possibility of a two year extension, is to provide support services including human resources, communications, procurement and medicines management and governance.

An NHS England spokesman said the the contract will be worth “in excess of” £26m over three years.

Per year, the figure is significantly less than the £25.5m income Cheshire and Merseyside CSU received from CCGs in 2013-14.

A North West CSU spokeswoman told HSJ a number of CCGs had brought some services, such as communications, in house.

Midlands and Lancashire CSU will also be responsible for providing regional capacity management, continuing healthcare services and the processing of individual funding requests.

The CCGs receiving the services are:

  • Halton CCG;
  • Knowsley CCG;
  • Liverpool CCG;
  • South Sefton CCG;
  • Southport and Formby CCG;
  • St Helens CCG;
  • South Cheshire CCG;
  • Warrington CCG;
  • West Cheshire CCG;
  • Wirral CCG;
  • Eastern Cheshire CCG; and
  • Vale Royal CCG.

The first contract tendered through the lead provider framework was awarded to private provider Optum in September. The company, part of UnitedHealth Group, won a £9m contract to provide the full range of support services for South Lincolnshire and South West Lincolnshire CCGs.

Midlands and Lancashire CSU managing director Derek Kitchen said: “Working with Cheshire and Merseyside commissioners is a strong strategic fit, both in terms of our geography and our client base.

“It gives us a great opportunity to deliver our valued services into new areas while maintaining our delivery to our current clients in the Midlands and Lancashire area.

“We already support commissioning services to more than eight million patients and we welcome the opportunity to support our new clients in commissioning excellent health services for local people.

“Our mobilisation plans will also include engagement with CCG staff and we look forward to a long and healthy partnership.”

Speaking on behalf of the 12 CCGs, Eastern Cheshire CCG chief officer Jerry Hawker said: “We are pleased with the outcome and are looking forward to working with the new provider. 

“Having followed a robust and transparent process, the outcome is a clear reflection of the commitment CCGs and trusts have shown in working together.”

This article was updated at 5:30pm to reflect information provided by NHS England