COMMERCIAL: A social enterprise which provides community services across Cornwall and oversees the county’s 14 community hospitals has said that it will not seek an extension to its current contract, which ends in March 2016.

Peninsula Community Health has been providing community services across Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly since 2011.

Steve Jenkin, the mutual’s chief executive, has told colleagues that in light of the “challenging financial climate”, the organisation’s board has decided not to try and extend its contract.

In an email to staff Mr Jenkin wrote: “For a number of reasons including the challenging financial climate, our Board has taken the decision that we will not seek a contract extension beyond March 2016. Kernow Clinical Commissioning Group has been made aware of our decision.

“We are extremely proud of the achievements of Peninsula Community Health throughout our contract – particularly the high standard of care for our patients and the quality and commitment of you, our staff – all of which was recently confirmed by our Care Quality Commission inspections.

“It is with a heavy heart therefore that we have concluded that it is in the best interests of patients and staff in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly if we work with NHS Kernow and other partners during the remainder of our contract term to ensure a smooth transition of services to other providers after March next year.”

The £87m-turnover organisation was created by NHS staff in 2011 to take over a number of community services from NHS Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Primary Care Trust as part of the Transforming Community Services programme.

Plans to merge Peninsula Community Health and mental health provider Cornwall Partnership Foundation Trust were ditched earlier this year after a study of the proposals for further joint working said a merger would not be feasible on financial grounds.