• Ealing CCG offering £450m contract for community services
  • At least two NHS trusts have expressed an interest in the contract
  • Virgin Care also appear to be interested, after organising a community event

Commissioners have tendered a £450m contract for community services in west London, which has sparked apparent interest from at least two NHS trusts and private provider Virgin Care.

The contract tendered by Ealing Clinical Commissioning Group will run for a decade from May 2019 and will cover all adult and child services outside of acute and primary care.

London North West University Healthcare Trust, which already provides many of the services covered by the new contract, confirmed it will submit a full bid by the 23 August deadline.

Central London Community Healthcare Trust told HSJ it was considering a full bid.

It appears the trusts could be competing with a private provider, Virgin Care, which arranged an event in Ealing Town Hall on 31 July “to engage with local community organisations to understand how services could be transformed”. According to an email seen by HSJ, the event was cancelled because the relevant manager was unavailable.

The company declined to comment when asked if it was submitting a bid, citing commercial reasons.

It is not clear whether West London Mental Health Trust or Hillingdon Hospitals Foundation Trust are also involved in the bidding process. Both trusts said they were unable to comment during an active tendering process.

Ealing CCG is offering the contract for all “out of hospital services for adults and children from May 2019,” when several contracts for community services expire.

The CCG wants to find a single provider who will be “responsible for the coordination and delivery of all community services in Ealing”. This could be a “lead provider” that subcontracts services from, or partners with, other providers.

It says patient experience data suggests “services are fragmented, complex and difficult to navigate” so the CCG wants to get rid of “the constraints of separately held multiple contracts” making it “a unique opportunity to commission care that can be fully coordinated and integrated”.

The contract also includes provision for a potential one off payment of £47m for transformation of services over the course of the 10 year agreement.

There are a further 22 services that are not included in the initial contract but could be added as their existing agreements expire. They include GP out of hours services, primary care out of hospital services, and health visiting and school nursing and are collectively valued at £80m a year.