STRUCTURE: A private provider and a well known social enterprise are among the bidders hoping to take over the running of Surrey Community Health.

NHS Surrey has confirmed to HSJ that four bidders have made it through the pre-qualification questionnaire stage to the “competitive dialogue” part of the process. The provider arm was put out to tender in January, valued at up to £650m.

The four have been named as Assura Medical, Central Surrey Health, Hampshire Partnership Foundation Trust and Surrey and Borders Partnership Foundation Trust.

Surrey County Council, which had previously shown interest in earlier stages of the tender, has subsequently opted not to proceed.

NHS Surrey head of community service transformation Chris Botten said: “The pre-qualification element of the procurement process for Surrey Community Health has now been completed and Surrey County Council did not bid.”

The competitive dialogue phase started on 3 May with detailed tenders to be submitted by 28 July.

Mr Botten said: “In September 2011 NHS Surrey’s Board will make the final decision on which organisation will be the preferred provider. The five year £650m contract is then awarded subject to completion of the due diligence phase.

He added: “Transfer of the service to the new provider will take place on 31 December 2011 in line with the deadline agreed with the Department of Health.”