• Trust says it cannot provide specified services below cost cap
  • A ‘significant difference’ between cost of care required by tender and its financial limit
  • Ealing CCG considering ‘a number of bids’ within contract value

A London trust has pulled out of the bidding process for a £450m community services contract because it could not deliver the range and quality of services at a low enough cost.

London North West University Healthcare Trust has confirmed it did not submit a bid before the 23 August deadline for the 10 year contract to provide most “out of hospital services” to Ealing Clinical Commissioning Group.

The trust’s chief executive, Jacqueline Doherty, wrote to her community teams and staff on 23 August to inform them of the trust’s decision not to submit a bid.

HSJ has obtained a copy of the letter, which says the trust worked hard to come up with a high quality bid for the contract. However, she adds: “There is a significant difference between the cost of this quality of care and the amount that the tender allows us to spend.”

LNWH provides several community services in Ealing, many of which it will lose when the commissioner awards the contract, commissioning 36 community services for adults and children from a single provider.

Ealing CCG said it is “disappointed” LNWH has decided to pull out of the process but a spokesman said it has received “a number of bids from other organisations that are within the contract value.”

Private provider Virgin Care could be in the mix after showing interest in the deal before the August deadline. It organised but subsequently cancelled an event at Ealing Town Hall. It wanted to “engage with local community organisations to understand how services could be transformed”.

However, a Virgin Care spokeswoman told HSJ “The procurement process remains ongoing and we don’t comment on any ongoing procurement process”.

An LWNH spokeswoman said: “We will continue to work closely with our community teams and the CCG to deliver a high quality service as we await the outcome of the tender process.

“We remain enormously proud of all our community services, including those in Ealing, who provide such vital care to our patients and service users.”