The best rule of health policy is “if it isn’t broke, don’t try and fix it”. The integrated care services in Torbay are admired across the country and internationally.
The one query over the model is why it was not more widely copied, and it was therefore useful when the Transforming Community Services programme saw the trust take on responsibility for South Devon and the chance was taken to see if its approach could tackle local service inequities.
‘Making the new system work will depend much on reducing the amount of guess work for commissioners’
South Devon was given to Torbay on the basis that the contract was re-tendered in 2016. However, the local clinical commissioning group wants to know if it can avoid this − fearing the impact on services across the region.
This is an important test case for the new system. The CCG is taking legal advice about its options. But it would also make sense if Monitor gave an indication as to how it may treat any challenge to the decision to avoid tendering the South Devon service.
Making the new system work will depend much on reducing the amount of guess work commissioners have to do.