COMMERCIAL: The board of NHS North Yorkshire and York has been recommended to award contracts for its mental health services to a mental health trust and an acute trust.

The PCT is required to divest its provider arm by 1 April in line with the transforming community services programme. A contract notice for the PCTs mental health services generated 48 expressions of interest from a wide range of potential providers, however only nine pre-qualifications were returned comprising of both private and public sector organisations.

Following evaluation of the expressions of interest, five potential providers were short-listed to be taken forward to the invitation to tender (ITT) stage and receive specification documents. These were: Leeds Partnerships NHS Foundation Trust; Tees Esk & Wear Valley NHS Foundation Trust; Bradford District Care Trust;
Humber Mental Health Teaching NHS Trust and Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.

However, Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust & Humber Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust withdrew their intention to bid, stating that the timing of the procurement did not fit with their strategic plan.

The board was asked to approve a 3 year contract (with the option to extend for 2 further twelve month periods) with Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Trust for services in Harrogate, Hambleton and Richmondshire to start 1 April 2011.

Leeds Partnership FT is expected to be approved to run York, Selby and Tadcaster plus North Yorkshire & York wide Specialist Eating Disorder Services and Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT).