COMMERCIAL: A trio of providers has formally expressed interest in bidding to run community services across Cornwall once the incumbent provider pulls out next March, HSJ has learned.

The county’s main acute provider Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust, mental health provider Cornwall Partnership Foundation Trust and the GP federation Kernow Health have responded to commissioners’ request for new providers to succeed Peninsula Community Health.

The move comes after the social enterprise, which has been running community services across Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly since 2011, announced they were no longer financially sustainable.

HSJ understands that the three bodies are likely to bid for the contract as a consortium formed through a contractual joint venture.

Kernow Clinical Commissioning Group is looking for an organisation or group to provide an interim service for two years from next April, according to a prior information notice published by the CCG last month.

Commissioners are looking for bodies to provide the services while local partners work to integrate services in line with the ambitions laid out in the region’s devolution deal.

The trio submitted an expression of interest recently, a spokesman for Royal Cornwall Hospitals confirmed.

The prior information notice states: “[Kernow] CCG will… require the provider over the period of the contract to work with all existing health and social care providers, the CCG and Cornwall Council to devise a reconfigured model of delivery to create sustainability, to redesign these services and support the transformation in line with the Cornwall devolution deal.”

The interim contract will be worth £78.3m a year.

A Royal Cornwall Hospitals spokesman, speaking on behalf of the three providers, said: “We want to assure the local community that clinicians and senior leaders across our three organisations are working in partnership to fully integrate NHS care provision in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.

“We want to maintain local control and provision of healthcare and welcome recent moves to give more power to local communities to decide how best to use resources.

“We currently have the best opportunity in a generation to offer more joined up care, centred on the patient and with less organisational bureaucracy.”

Peninsula Community Health, created by NHS staff in 2011 to take over a number of community services from Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Primary Care Trust, said in July it would not look to renew its contract.

The community interest company said it was no longer a sustainable provider, citing the “challenging financial climate”.

Monitor last month opened an investigation into Peninsula Community Health to understand if any action is needed to ensure patients remain able to access local services.