COMMERCIAL: South Tyneside Foundation Trust is bidding for a 10 year contract to run an “integrated care services hub”, put out to tender by the local authority.

If successful, the acute provider’s bid would see services including long stay residential and nursing care provided from a new 30 bed facility at South Tyneside District Hospital, according to documents seen by HSJ.

The trust has requested a £9.5m loan from the Department of Health’s independent trust finance facility to cover the cost of building and equipping the new development, which would be repayable over the life of the contract.

South Tyneside Council declined to comment on the procurement process, but a tender document said its “intention is to work with a provider to create a first class integrated care services hub facility to provide a range of services to adults, primarily older people, including care and support, information and advice to address a wider spectrum of care needs than has traditionally been available within one facility”.

The document added: “The service will involve the direct provision of residential and nursing care services, together with the provision of accommodation to facilitate the provision of other services in order to deliver the vision of integrated care.”

According to the trust’s loan application - released to HSJ under the Freedom of Information Act - the council is expected to fund services provided at the hub through the closure of some current reablement facilities, and a 30 bed residential nursing home.

The document said that the trust “recognises that in order to be competitive in relation to pay costs in this bid, it would need to explore alternative options for provision of the service”. For this reason it proposed setting up a wholly owned subsidiary South Tyneside Integrated Care Limited to focus on delivery of the contract.

However, the application added: “In setting up a subsidiary to deliver this contract, we can build the capability to bid for delivery of integrated services into other parts of the North East, exporting best practice from the hub and importing economic benefit back to South Tyneside.”

The trust declined to comment further while the formal tendering process remains ongoing. The council invited expressions of interest for the tender in September. According to the loan application, the council was expected to sign a contract with the successful bidder by 28 July.

South Tyneside was last year selected as one of the DH’s 14 “integration pioneer” sites across England.