COMMERCIAL: An acute trust has issued a highly unusual tender for private partners to help run and build a new health and social care centre.

An acute trust has issued a highly unusual tender for private partners to help run and build a new health and social care centre.

North Bristol Trust is seeking a development partner to build the new centre and provide facilities management. It is also looking for a healthcare partner to provide basic nursing care to the 68 NHS community hospital beds proposed.

It is envisaged the centre will also include outpatient clinics, diagnostic testing facilities and therapies provided by NHS staff employed by the trust, as well as a larger nursing home facility which would provide a “revenue generating opportunity” for the partner.

Trust director of capital projects David Powell told HSJ there would be a community hospital “wing” and a nursing home “wing” but it would make sense to have one nursing team.

Under the terms of the tender, the nursing home beds would provide overflow for the NHS beds. Alternatively, if NHS beds were under occupied they could be used for private patients.

Mr Powell said interest had been good with 45 potential partners from the private and third sectors attending the bidding day.

The centre will be built on the site of the trust’s Frenchay Hospital. Existing facilities on the site are due to move into the new £430m, 800 bed private finance initiative hospital at Southmead by 2014.

The trust wants to sell 5.8 acres of the 70 acre Frenchay site to the developer to build the new centre and lease the facilities back on a contract worth £750,000 a year.

The developer will also be given the option to purchase a further 10 acres of surplus land to build housing for the elderly. A masterplan is being drawn up for the rest of the site.

The contract for the new build will be worth £22m and the contract for nursing care provision worth £3.5m annually. Both contracts will last up to 30 years with the developer retaining ownership of the building at the end of that period.

The trust was named by health secretary Andrew Lansley as one of 22 organisations with PFI deals that would make it difficult for them to achieve foundation trust status.

Mr Powell said the new project would not impact on the foundation trust application as it was not affecting the cash balance and the third parties would offset some of the risk.

It is anticipated the contract will be awarded by the end of 2012 and the facility will be complete when the PFI opens in 2014. The trust plans to submit is application by April 2012.