• Dudley CCG set outs procurement timetable for MCP contract worth £244m a year
  • MCP contract not expected to be operational until April 2018
  • 32 per cent of services within the contract scope currently provided by Dudley Group Foundation Trust 
  • MCP will be a “single legal entity” holding one contract with the CCG

Dudley Clinical Commissioning Group has set out a timetable for the procurement of a multispecialty community provider contract worth £244m a year.

In a report presented to its governing body on Thursday, the director of commissioning for Dudley CCG said it will be “necessary” to enter into a procurement process for the vanguard contract due to “of the size of the financial transaction involved”.

The report also suggests the MCP contract should be signed by 1 April 2017 but will not be operational until April 2018, as a “lengthy mobilisation” period will need to be factored in.

In March 2015, Dudley was one of the first 14 areas to be awarded vanguard status by NHS England. It is one the six vanguard areas helping the national body design the new MCP contract, due to be published later this month.

According to the CCG’s timetable, the governing body will be presented with a recommended procurement process in September 2016, with potential bidders short-listed by late November or early December, final submissions made by 10 February and the contract awarded by April 2017.

Dudley CCG says it will use a “competitive dialogue” process for the procurement, allowing various parties to present their plan for delivering the MCP contract.

The report makes clear that the MCP “will be a single legal entity”, “holding a single contract” rather than a “partnership or alliance of separate providers” and suggests a contract term of up to 10-15 years. The CCG estimates services within the scope of the contract will amount to £244.3m a year, meaning the total contract value is likely to be well in excess of £2bn.

The “single entity” taking on the contract will also have to bear financial risk for services covered by the MCP and will have to pay for any emergency admissions associated with falls, admissions from care homes or ambulatory care sensitive conditions. The aim is to provide an incentive for the community and primary care services run by the MCP to reduce pressure on the acute sector.

The commissioner will hold the MCP to account on a range of expected improvements in outcomes. However, it has yet to decide whether this regime will take effect from when the contract is signed in 2017, or from the point of full mobilisation.

Around a third of those services in the scope of the contract by value are currently provided by Dudley Group Foundation Trust.

Under the proposed new contact the MCP will directly provide £27.7m of the services currently provided by Dudley Group, while £51m will be subcontracted back to the trust.

Services to be included within the scope of the MCP are:

  • existing primary care services including prescribing;
  • NHS and non-NHS community services including mental health;
  • outpatient services linked to long term conditions management;
  • high volume/low tech outpatient services; and
  • emergency admissions which the MCP can influence such as falls, admissions from care homes, ambulatory care sensitive conditions.

The budget, set out in the CCG report, works on the assumption that all 46 GP practices in the area will be covered by the new MCP contract. However, it has not been confirmed that all will be part of the MCP when the contract goes live.