Consortium of NHS and social enterprise bidders is single bidder for children’s community services contract in Bristol, South Gloucestershire and North Somerset

University Hospitals Bristols Foundation Trust and Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership Trust are part of bid

Commissioners say that consortium was the only bidder that met the required criteria in the first stage of the procurement

An NHS led consortium is the only bidder to reach the next stage of a procurement to run children’s community services in Bristol, South Gloucestershire and North Somerset.

The consortium is made up of Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership Trust, University Hospitals Bristol Foundation Trust, and the social enterprises Bristol Community Health CIC, Sirona Care & Health CIC and North Somerset Community Partnership CIC.

The contract, which is being commissioned by Bristol, South Gloucestershire and North Somerset clinical commissioning groups, Bristol City and South Gloucestershire councils and NHS England, covers a diverse range of services including school nursing, child and adolescent mental health, and speech and language therapy.

The commissioners announced on Friday that the consortium was the only bidder to have been taken through from the pre-qualification questionnaire stage of the procurement to the invitation to tender stage.

A spokeswoman for the commissioners told HSJ that the consortium’s submission was the only one which met the required criteria to be taken though to submit a full proposal.

HSJ asked how many organisations had submitted PQQs, but the spokeswoman said the commissioners were unable to disclose this information until the procurement had finished.

Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership, Sirona Care and Health, and Bristol Community Health are currently delivering the contract for children’s community services on an interim basis.

They took over in April on a one year basis after the previous provider, North Bristol Trust, announced it was pulling out.

The entry of University Hospitals Bristol into the consortium to bid for the substantive contract was revealed by HSJ in March.

With the acute trust running Bristol Royal Hospital for Children, insiders have argued that its involvement could create opportunities to join up services.

The consortium’s bid will be evaluated throughout May and June, with a view to awarding the contract by the end of September. The contract is set to go live April next year.