STRUCTURE: Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust has pulled out of the race to win the contract to run the provider arm of NHS Surrey, citing the county’s “financial complexity and challenges”.

The procurement for Surrey Community Health, a contract worth around £450m over five years, is currently at the competitive dialogue stage. Four bidders had originally progressed to this stage:

  • Assura Medical Ltd
  • Central Surrey Health Ltd
  • Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust (formerly Hampshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust)
  • Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

However, in a statement the primary care trust said the mental health foundation trust had decided to quit the tender process. 

NHS Surrey director of nursing, quality and safety Maggie Ioannou said: “I can confirm that Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust (formerly Hampshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust) has decided to withdraw from the competitive dialogue process and will not participate further in the tender.”

Katrina Percy, chief executive of Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust, said the decision had been taken “reluctantly”. 

“The opportunity presented by the Surrey Community Health tender in terms of geographic growth on our borders is absolutely in line with our strategy,” she said.

“The competitive dialogue phase has highlighted the financial complexity and challenges of the Surrey health economy and at this particular point in time we do not believe that bidding for Surrey Community Health is in the wider interests of our organisation or the patients we are here to serve.”

She added: “Our withdrawal from the tender process is the right decision for us but we would still be interested in any future opportunities to work with our neighbours in Surrey.”

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