NHS Haringey, one of the organisations at the centre of the Baby P case, has said it needs a new provider of children’s community health services after Great Ormond Street Hospital opted not to renew its contract with the primary care trust.
Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children Trust previously provided some paediatricians to hospitals run by NHS Haringey, where baby Peter was taken in the months before he died in 2007.
However, it only began providing community health services – including health visitors, school nurses, and other services like speech and language therapy – for Haringey in April 2008, after the death of baby Peter.
NHS Haringey said in a statement: “Great Ormond Street Hospital, which currently provides these services on behalf of NHS Haringey, has informed NHS Haringey that it does not want to continue to provide services in Haringey. It will instead focus on its role in specialist care.”
The health board said it plans to have a new provider in place by next April and will formally invite offers in early December.
The PCT’s interim chief executive Ian Wilson said: “NHS Haringey has been very happy with Great Ormond Street Hospital’s management of children’s services in Haringey and recent external reviews have been extremely positive about these services.
“As part of our ongoing discussions with Great Ormond Street, we have mutually agreed that given the national changes in the provision of community services, it is right to look again at how services are provided to children in Haringey.
He added: “We will talk to users and our partners about how we can make services better and then commission an organisation to provide them.”
Great Ormond Street chief executive Jane Collins said the trust was “proud” of the contribution it had made to community children’s services in Haringey.
However, she said: “The board at Great Ormond Street have decided that as a hospital we wish to concentrate on our specialist care, and cease providing our community based care.
“We are of course committed to working closely with our partners and the new provider to ensure a smooth and safe handover of our services.”
Baby Peter, who was from Haringey, was seen by health services 35 times by the time he died in 2007 after suffering horrific abuse.