COMMERCIAL: Commissioners have awarded the contract to run South Gloucestershire’s community services to a social enterprise based in Bath.

Sirona Care and Health was formed from the provider arm of Bath and North East Somerset Primary Care Trust under the transforming community services programme which required PCTs to stop providing services directly.

Sirona will take on the five year contract, worth £65m, on 1 April next year. The services are currently being delivered by North Bristol Trust where they were “parked” in 2011 to meet the TCS deadline.

Four other local social enterprises had also been in the running for the contract. HSJ understands they include Bristol Community Health and North Somerset Partnership.

Jonathan Hayes, chair of South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group, said the quality of bidders had been “incredibly high”.

He added: “We are delighted to award Sirona the new community health services contract. We are looking forward to working with them to provide high quality services for patients to support them when they leave hospital, to help them manage their condition at home and to provide more clinics closer to where people live.”

Sirona already provides services for children with life limiting illnesses in South Gloucestershire and the CCG recently awarded the social enterprise the contract for learning disability health services.

The latest contract includes adult community, specialist and out-of-hours nursing; community physiotherapy; and podiatry. It also includes clinical services for the Henderson ward at the Thornbury Hospital run by North Bristol Trust.

Sirona, which also provides adult social care services in Bath and North East Somerset, has 1,700 staff. About 450 staff will transfer to Sirona under the deal.