• Legal dispute between social enterprise and CCGs over control of integrated care partnership settled
  • Central Surrey Health drops challenge to the contract award by Surrey Downs CCG over £100m contract
  • New arrangement will commence in the new year
  • CSH said it had been “marginalised” by the other partners and threatened with loss of future work by the CCG

A legal battle over the control of integrated out of hospital care services has been settled.

Central Surrey Health, a social enterprise providing community nursing services, took Surrey Downs Clinical Commissioning Group to court saying it had been excluded from a group of providers the CCG had awarded the contract to.

CSH argued the CCG was wrong to proceed after it had been “marginalised” from the Integrated Dorking, Epsom and East Elmbridge Alliance and a preliminary hearing found there was potentially a case to answer, and a full hearing was due in February.

In a joint statement this morning with the other members of the IDEEA, CSH said it was dropping the case, and the parties would now work together.

CSH chief executive Steve Flanagan said in a statement: “Bringing together our expertise will allow us to improve patient care and will enable local people to access the right support, care and treatment more easily than ever before.”

In an interview with HSJ in September Mr Flanagan, who was previously a non-executive director at the social enterprise, said the dispute was over who had formal control over the new services, and that CSH could not accept not being the Care Quality Commission-registered provider.

The other members of the IDEEA are Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals Trust, GP Health Partners, and the Dorking Healthcare and Surrey Medical Network.

In court papers, CSH alleged that the CCG’s managing director officer Colin Thompson had told them the challenge could cost them work in the future. The CCG denied this.

HSJ understands a full hearing would have cost both parties roughly £1m in legal fees.

The start of the contract was suspended while legal proceedings were active but is now due to begin on 1 January.

In a joint statement Epsom and St Helier chief Daniel Elkeles and Hilary Floyd, Lead GP for Epsom area GP Federation, said: “Historically, there have been boundary lines between the organisations that provide care to people in their homes, in the GP surgeries and in hospitals, but we have always been in united in our mission to provide great care to the people who need us.

“It’s on those grounds that the IDEEA partnership was brought together. We want local people to receive the care that they need in the right environment.”

The five-year contract is worth £100m and was awarded in February.

Mr Thompson said in a statement: “We’ve spent a great deal of time working with GPs and health professionals, local people and our partners to design this innovative new service that will be more personalised, and more joined up, with local partners working together to improve care for local people so we’re really excited to be working with the IDEEA partnership as we transition into the new service.”

CSH has run the service in Surrey since 2008, employs 800 people and has a turnover of £32m.