COMMERCIAL: Bexley Clinical Commisioning Group is looking for ways to make savings in diabetes care, after problems agreeing a contract with providers.

The south east London CCG is looking to pursue a model similar to those used in Portsmouth and north Essex.

Minutes approved at the last governing body meeting said: “Bexley is spending a significantly higher amount on enhanced [diabetes] services – namely, £25 per patient per annum compared to north east Essex’s £7.33 per patient.”

Bexley had hoped to make saving of 10-30 per cent when it advertised for an £38.5m diabetes contract in 2014.

The minutes said: “A business case was submitted for diabetes care recommending the use of a prime contractor mechanism to integrate the community and acute elements for Bexley residents based on the Super Six principles which originated in Portsmouth and South East Hampshire and which include diabetic foot care and type 1 (individuals with poor control or young people).

“The business case and procurement were subsequently approved by the governing body. However, due to the revision of the [savings] financial target for this integration, and side-effects of the dissolution of South London Healthcare Trust, the procurement process was abandoned when the last remaining bidder declined, leaving the CCG to look at other options.

“It was decided to form a robust pathway via an alliance of providers following discussions with Lewisham and Greenwich Trust, Oxleas Foundation Trust and Bexley Health Limited and with support from Diabetes UK and other local voluntary sector organisations. Following several months of negotiations, a robust model had not progressed and, at the end of April 2015, the providers were informed of a final deadline for a finalised alliance proposal of 15 June 2015 which would include a redesigned model of care. It was then intended that the CCG would submit a business case for the July 2015 governing body for a decision. A proposal from the lead provider [Lewisham and Greenwich] was received, but was deemed unsuitable for implementation and therefore a more structured CCG-led approach was agreed.”