Most cancer and end of life care services in Staffordshire are unlikely to change providers following a £1.2bn contract procurement, one of the directors behind the commissioning process has said.

Dr Jonathan Shapiro, who was last week announced as the director of clinical engagement of the Transforming Cancer and End of Life Care Programme, defended the procurement exercise against widespread concerns it would lead to privatisation of the services.

“Most of the services will carry on being provided by the same organisations,” he added. “But I think a little bit of ginger in the system to make them think about what they are doing and challenge as to how they are doing it won’t be a bad thing.

“It’s more important to get the service integration right and as far as I am concerned it is public sector because it is being paid for and coordinated by CCGs.

“GPs are themselves working in the private sector but doing a job for the public.”

The former GP and adviser on service integration said the aim of the two-part 10-year contracts was to improve the coordination of services across Staffordshire.

“The idea is to find a service integrator, someone who can conduct the orchestra, to tie together the main providers and put the whole symphony together,” he added.

This could mean contracts would not “necessarily” be given to a provider of services.

“I think it will almost certainly be a consortium and the main bidder will need to demonstrate they have the other organisations around them and the infrastructure to deliver,” he added.

This story was updated on 28/7/14 at 1405