COMMERCIAL: Southern Health Foundation Trust is planning to partner a consortium of GPs and private providers seeking to run an out-of-hours primary care service.

Board papers for the trust’s January meeting show the trust is planning to partner Portsmouth Health Limited to bid for an OOH tender for Hampshire, Southampton and Portsmouth.

Portsmouth Health Ltd is a joint venture of local GPs, private provider Care UK, and Ashley House, a developer and manager of healthcare facilities. The company was set up to run a “Darzi centre” for primary care in the city.

The bid is for OOH services to be delivered by Care UK, with GPs sourced “locally, including from Primus (a chamber of south east Hampshire GPs)”.

Southern Health’s role would be to “ensure that the OOH service interfaces with local services. We will also have representation on the OOH management board to ensure interfaces work well”.

If successful, “we have an early opportunity to ensure the model of care is designed to reduce admissions, improve services and gain leverage on the management board to ensure the quality of the service”, the trust board papers said.

They add that PHL “has strong support from GPs in south east Hampshire and Portsmouth (indeed, we believe this support is so strong that Solent Health has elected not to bid”.

The bid was due to be submitted in early March, with new services expected to be launched in September 2012.