COMMERCIAL: Birmingham CrossCity Clinical Commissioning Group has closed a support service for palliative care patients following concerns it failed to reduce hospital admissions and did not provide value for money.

Its closure has however sparked concerns that patients may not be transferred to an alternative service.

The concerns were raised by staff from Healthcare at Home, the provider whose £2m contract to offer “support and coordination” to patients in their last 12 months of live was not renewed by the CCG.

The CCG’s May board papers state that Healthcare at Home staff have “informally… reported their concerns that some [GP] practises will not sufficiently follow up patients post discharge to primary care”.

Healthcare at Home’s Family Liaison Service had been commissioned by the CCG’s predecessor, Birmingham East and North Primary Care Trust.

The decision not to renew the contract was made in March following concerns the service was not reducing hospital admissions or providing value for money.

Suzanne Cleary, chief officer strategy and primary care development chief for the CCG said: “All existing [family liaison service] patients are being discharged back to their GP practice for referral into an appropriate service provider as appropriate.

“We will thereby ensure that patients’ care needs are being met, they are given a choice on which alternative service they can use, and they are able to access the right service for them.”

Birmingham CrossCity is managing the service’s closure by gradually discharging patients to their GPs who will then re-refer them to alternative services.

The CCG’s own patient survey showed most respondents highly valued the service and were “strongly against” it changing.