• Surrey Downs extends the contract for social enterprise which is taking it to court over a procurement
  • Central Surrey Health claims it was marginalised from £100m alliance contract
  • The new contract was due to start on Monday but CSH contract extended for four months

A community provider’s contract has been extended by four months, pending a court dispute over an integrated care deal.

Central Surrey Health, a social enterprise providing community services in the county, is taking Surrey Downs Clinical Commissioning Group to court, claiming it breached a contract by continuing with an integration project in which the partners had fallen out.

CSH was one of five members of the Integrated Dorking, Epsom and East Elmbridge Alliance, which comprised of the company, three GP federations and Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals Trust.

The alliance was awarded a £100m contract in February, with the hospital trust the formal holder of the contract, but CSH has since said it has been “marginalised” out of the agreement.

At the time of the contract award, Surrey Downs senior responsible officer Donna Derby said it would create “a service that will be more personalised, and more joined up for patients, with local partners working together to provide the best care”.

Senior staff at the company told HSJ in an interview that the subsequent included which body had “clinical control” of the workforce and which body held the Care Quality Commission registration for the service.

CSH has run community health services in the patch since 2006.

The new contract was due to begin yesterday, but was paused because of the legal action.

The CCG yesterday confirmed to HSJ that CSH’s contract had been extended until the end of January as a result of the dispute. A court hearing is due to be held on Monday.

A spokeswoman for Surrey Downs CCG said: “The legal process continues and a date for the initial hearing has now been set.

“Patient care remains our top priority and, to ensure continuity of care, we have agreed a contract extension with CSH Surrey that will run from 1 October to 31 January 2019.”

CSH and Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals Trust have been approached for comment.