COMMERICAL: A Yorkshire trust has complained to Monitor about a tender process which resulted in the loss of a £190m mental health contract.

Leeds and York Partnership Foundation Trust has written to the regulator detailing concerns about the process run by Vale of York Clinical Commissioning Group.

Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

Leeds and York Partnership has concerns about the CCG’s process

The five year contract was awarded to Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys Trust.

The Yorkshire Post reports that it has seen a letter to Monitor from Leeds and York chief executive Chris Butler, which claims that one of the doctors involved in the assessment process could have had a conflict of interest.

The letter says the CCG’s mental health lead, Dr Louise Barker, was a member of the assessment panel judging the rival bids, despite her partner working as a consultant psychiatrist for TEWV, the paper reports.

The letter claims Dr Barker’s scores for TEWV were higher than those given by other panel members, and the conflict of interest was not registered in every meeting where the procurement was discussed.

The relationship was listed in the CCG’s register of interests for 2014-15.

The CCG declined to comment on the specific claims when contacted by HSJ.

However, a CCG spokeswoman said it complied with the relevant procurement regulations, adding: “The CCG’s position is that it has adopted an extremely robust and rigorous process, and the CCG will confidently uphold that process as required.”

The contract, which covers mental health and learning disability services in the Vale of York, was awarded in May and is due to take effect from 1 October.

A Monitor spokesman said: “We have received a complaint and are reviewing it.”

Mr Butler said in a statement to HSJ: “The board and I have serious concerns over the procurement process that took place.

“Also we do not believe that another major upheaval of local services in York and North Yorkshire is in the best interests of patients and their families.

“In light of this we referred our concerns to the NHS regulator Monitor and we are currently awaiting a response from them on what level of action they will take.”