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NHS mega tender goes to NHS-led consortium

16 October 2014 - 10:11am

The largest single competitive tender for NHS clinical services has been secured by a consortium led by a NHS provider organisation.

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Residents of Cambridge will get their care from the new consortium

UnitingCare Partnership has been selected out of three contenders as the preferred bidder for a five-year, £800 million contract to provide older people's healthcare and adult community services. It will cover Cambridgeshire, Peterborough and parts of Northamptonshire and Hertfordshire.

The partnership is a consortium of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust with Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, the East of England ambulance service, MITIE, a private sector homecare provider, and other local private as well as voluntary sector businesses.

CSP members affected by the tendering process had gone through a ‘really tough time over a long period of uncertainty about their futures’, said senior negotiating officer Neil Lark.

‘I am sure they will be relieved that they will remain employed by the NHS.

‘The CSP will try to ensure members are fully involved in any changes that affect them as staff and their patients.’

Daisy Collins, CSP steward said: ‘We are pleased the contract is staying within the NHS but look forward to understanding the full detail of the preferred bidder's plans.'

Highlighting the positive role of Cambridge University Hospital’s local unions in the process, CSP regional steward Kim Gainsborough, said: ‘We are delighted with the outcome. We will now ensure we are involved with TUPE transfer and any other arrangements that will affect the workforce.’

The possible privatisation of local NHS services through the competitive tender process - costing the clinical commissioning group £1 million and involving bids led by private companies Care UK, Capita, Circle, Optum, Serco and Virgin - was opposed by a public campaign involving local people and local health union members, including Ms Gainsborough.

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