COMMERCIAL: Surrey County Council has bid to take over the running of Surrey Community Health, according to primary care trust board papers.

NHS Surrey put its provider arm out to tender in January, valuing it at up to £650m.  

Latest board papers said the Pre-Qualification Questionnaire stage of the tender exercise had closed on 17 March, and that evaluation of the submissions would take place over the following three weeks.  

However, the papers state that the county council has withdrawn from the evaluation process because it has made a submission itself.

In his report to the board, Chris Botten, interim associate director for unplanned care and long term conditions, said: “The late withdrawal of the county council from the evaluation process (as they have advised us they are bidders) has resulted in a slight delay in the confirmation of the evaluation panel as Local Authority advice is having to be procured from elsewhere.”

He added: “There appears to be significant interest in the market and there is confidence that a high quality short list can be secured for the competitive dialogue stage. “