COMMERCIAL: South Warwickshire Foundation Trust has established a partnership with a large scale GP federation, with the intention of bidding together for a local community services contract.

The trust, which provides acute care in south Warwickshire and community services across the county, is also developing a similar arrangement with a second GP provider group elsewhere in its patch.

Trust leaders hope that the arrangements will form an important step towards establishing an accountable care organisation to provide primary, community and acute care.

South Warwickshire unsuccessfully submitted a bid to establish a primary and acute care system as part of the new models of care vanguard early this year.

HSJ understands the trust has signed a memorandum of understanding with South Warwickshire GP Ltd – a federation with 35 member practices.

The two parties will seek to create a shared entity that could be contracted to manage the health of a defined population. A trust board report said they would seek to be paid via capitation based funding (given a set annual budget based on the size of the local population) rather than payment by results.

The shared entity, which could be a joint venture company, is intended to bid for community service contracts.

It follows an overt attempt to establish an accountable care organisation in Northumbria, via a new organisation jointly owned by GPs and a foundation trust.

The report said: “Depending on what happens next with procurement of community services we would aim to respond with such a model, either formally or informally.”

South Warwickshire FT has also met GPs in north Warwickshire this summer to “test their appetite” for introducing a similar model.

Warwickshire North Clinical Commissioning Group has committed to procure its community services, but has not yet produced a timetable or identified how it will go about this. South Warwickshire CCG is considering options for how it might commission community services to better integrate out of hospital care.

Commissioners are “keen to find innovative ways of getting true interdisciplinary working between primary care, geriatricians, secondary care medicine, mental health, social care, and community health care”, the report said.

The trust and GPs hope to position themselves as the “most capable provider” for those services by bidding jointly.