COMMERCE: A social enterprise has been awarded a community services contract in Essex worth £240m.

The seven year Care Closer to Home contract was given to Anglian Community Enterprise by North East Essex Clinical Commissioning Group this week, following a formal procurement process. 

The contract is due to go live in April 2016. It includes services such as audiology, cardiology, community nursing, falls prevention and ophthalmology across Colchester and Tendring.

The CCG’s acting chief officer Samantha Hepplewhite said: “This was a very rigorous process and we received high levels of interest from the market with some very strong bids. 

“ACE has demonstrated robust quality, service delivery, transformation, patient experience with an emphasis of effective partnership working in their bid. 

“They also displayed a sound knowledge of healthcare provision and the importance of working with health and social care professionals to offer a joined up service.” 

ACE’s managing director Lynne Woodcock, said: “We know people would like their healthcare services to be more joined up and accessible and we are looking forward to working more closely with local GPs and the acute hospital to deliver a more seamless service.”