FINANCE: Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group has outlined plans to put up to £1bn worth of contracts out to tender to potential bidders.

The CCG told HSJ it wanted to secure “a lead provider” for its older people’s services and provide an integrated acute and community pathway.

A meeting held by the CCG this week to outline opportunities to potential bidders attracted interest from local and neighbouring NHS providers and private and third sector organisations.

An advert placed by the CCG on procurement site NHS Supply2Health said the value of the contract, which was likely to be a five-year deal, could range from £750m to over £1bn.

The notice said the contract could cover a range of services including “acute, community, long-term care, respite care and community health, dental services; therapies and community support services”.

Matthew Smith, an assistant director at the CCG, assistant said: The concept is a lead provider for older people services. We want a joined-up approach so we are contracting with a single provider across the whole pathway.

“It is possible that the contract may not be at the upper end [but] if all the elements of the pathway are included it’s £200m a year.”

Mr Smith said that the CCG was agnostic about what type of provider services were commissioned from.

“The contract is a longer-term contract so that the provider can invest and fundamentally change how services are delivered,” he added.

The CCG has engaged with the strategic projects team of the now defunct NHS East of England to support an initial review of procurement options for an integrated acute and community older people’s service.

News of the tender follows the announcement in March that Cambridgeshire Community Services Trust is to be desolved in next year.

The CCG is currently carrying out a separate options appraisal for other community services currently being delivered by Cambridgeshire Community Services “in tandem” with the elderly procurement, the Supply2Health notice said.

Union officials accused the CCG of trying to privatise services.

Unite head of health Rachael Maskell said: “The Cambridgeshire and Peterborough CCG really needs to come clean about how it is planning to provide future NHS services for the people of Cambridgeshire.”

Commenting on a previous meeting held by the CCG earlier this month, Ms Maskell said: “The fact that more than 50 organisations turned up for this so-called ‘marketing day’ in Huntingdon would indicate that a mass sell-off of services, such as health visiting and care for the elderly, is on the cards.”