• First integrated care trust will now not go live until April 2020, says Dudley CCG
  • Complexity of contractual model means commissioners have had to push back ambitions by a year
  • As part of the model, commissioners intend to create a new type of NHS provider

The creation of the NHS’ first integrated care trust has been delayed until 2020, due to the complexity of the contractual model.

Dudley Clinical Commissioning Group, which is set to create the NHS’ first integrated care provider, has had to push its plans back by a year.

The CCG, which previously planned to award its integrated care contract this year, said it will now not be able to award the contract until April 2020, despite almost completing the procurement phase.

Last year, the commissioner confirmed intentions to split its main acute trust, the Dudley Group Foundation Trust, in two, leaving a residual acute trust and creating a new multispecialty community provider. The latter would hold the integrated MCP contract, which would potentially include some form of contractual arrangement with GPs and some primary care commissioning functions.

In October board paper minutes, published in January, the CCG said the “levels of assurance” needed for the chosen contractual model had “elongated the completion”.

“No applications to split a foundation trust had been made before,” the document added.

The CCG also raised a concern that local GPs – 93 per cent of whom had agreed to sign up to the integrated care contract – and the local council would become “frustrated with the long process”.

In a statement to HSJ, the CCG’s chief executive, Paul Maubach, said: “The Dudley multispeciality community provider partnership decided to establish the MCP as an NHS provider rather than any other organisational form.

“So whilst the procurement for the MCP is largely complete and there are clear benefits arising from establishing the MCP as an NHS provider, this also necessarily requires substantial mobilisation and regulatory assurance – work which will be undertaken during this year.

“The complexity of the work in itself is an illustration why it is very positive that there is a commitment in the long-term plan for legislation to more easily enable the creation of integrated care trusts in the future.”