COMMERCIAL: The PCT is launching a tender for GP out of hours provision.

The existing contracts for NHS Nottingham City and NHS Nottinghamshire County expire on 31 March 2013.  At present, the providers of the current services are:

  • Nottingham Emergency Medical Services, providing services to Nottingham City. Practices within the Clinical Commissioning Groups of:

*       Principia,

*       Nottingham North and East

*       Nottingham West. 

  • Central Nottinghamshire Clinical Services, providing services to the registered populations of practices within the Clinical Commissioning Groups of:

* Newark & Sherwood

* Mansfield & Ashfield

There are a number of reasons why there could be benefit from maintaining continuity of service provision from the existing providers, a board paper says. But lawyers have advised there should be a procurement process.

The procurement will be split into two lots, one for the north of Nottinghamshire and one for the south of Nottinghamshire to recognise the different urgent/emergency care systems in these areas

There will be one specification developed but there will be scope to identify local variations between the north and the south lots within that specification

The procurement will seek to let a contract for at least three years, if dispensation is not granted to let a contract of this duration then a procurement process may not be viable.

The need to appropriately manage conflicts of interest is of particular relevance to this procurement process as many of the GPs within the health communities work for, or have shares, in one of the GP Out of Hours providers. 

To help ensure that the procurement process is conducted in an open and fair manner and that all the relevant requirements are adhered to, the board was asked to support the sourcing of procurement expertise from East Midlands Procurement and Commissioning Transformation, at a cost to be confirmed.