• Financial value of 10 year deal too low to provide “safe, responsive and high quality services”.
  • CLCH withdraws despite running Ealing council commissioned children’s services.
  • Second trust to withdraw from tendering process citing cost.

A second NHS trust has withdrawn its bid for a £450m community services contract in west London because it could not get under the cost cap.

Central London Community Healthcare Trust has confirmed it is no longer interested in a 10 year contract to run at least 36 community services for Ealing Clinical Commissioning Group.

The trust chief executive, Andrew Ridley, told the HSJ his trust withdrew from the process in early August.

He said the financial value of the contract was too low “to assure ourselves that we could provide the safe, responsive and high quality services that we are committed to as an organisation.”

“As an existing large provider of these services, and the new provider of local authority commissioned children’s health services in Ealing, this was a disappointing decision but one that we felt was in the best interest of patients and services,” Mr Ridley added.

CLCH is the second NHS provider to drop out of the race for Ealing CCG’s “Out of Hospital Services” tender. HSJ reported this week that London North West University Healthcare Trust has pulled its bid too.

LNWH also cited concerns that it would not be able to provide the quality and range of services at a low enough cost. It currently runs several community services in the borough and its latest accounts say it derives approximately 20 per cent of its income from Ealing CCG – although much of this will be for acute services.

The CCG wants to find a single provider to run adult and child services in the borough because the services at present “are often delivered in isolation and silos”. Patient feedback indicates services “fragmented, complex and difficult to navigate” for users and staff. The CCG says patients, therefore, automatically resort to acute services.

Private provider Virgin Care has been linked with the contract, having arranged then cancelled a community event in July to find out how residents would like to see their services transformed. Virgin Care said it does not comment on ongoing tendering process.

Ealing CCG said in a statement: “We are making an investment into the single contract and have received a number of bids from other organisations that are within the contract value.”

The CCG cluster is currently advertising for a new director of commissioning.