Cambridgeshire Community Services Trust has teamed up with outsourcer Capita and private health provider Circle to jointly bid for a £1bn older people’s care contract, HSJ has learned.

The innovative joint bid for the high-profile contract marks a significant change in fortunes for the embattled NHS trust after the former Midlands and East Strategic Health Authority decided to remove it from the foundation trust pipeline in October 2012. With it being policy at the time that there could be no non-FT trusts, this effectively signalled the trust’s abolition, although this policy has now been modified.

HSJ revealed last month the trust had won a stay of execution until at least July next year after Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group postponed the implementation of the £1bn contract by three months.

And now Capita has revealed to HSJ it is part of a three-way bid for the CCG’s integrated care contract.

A Capita spokeswoman said: “The partnership brings together the best of the private and public sector, seamlessly combining Circle’s, Cambridgeshire Community Services Trust’s and Capita’s core strengths in clinical experience to improve care for patients, alongside technology led innovation, administration and customer service expertise.

“As we are in a formal bid process, it would be inappropriate to comment further at this time.”

HSJ revealed in May Serco was sizing up a bid and Virgin Care is also understood to be interested in the contract.

The CCG was tendering for a “lead provider” for its older people’s services and provide an integrated acute and community pathway in a deal worth between £750m and £1bn.

An advert placed by the CCG on procurement site NHS Supply2Health said the contract, which is split into four geographical lots across the locality, likely to be a five-year deal.