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Community services contract returns to the NHS from private sector

20 May 2015 - 1:52pm

Physios providing community services in Suffolk will become NHS staff again in the autumn, following the announcement of a deal to replace a private provider with a consortium of NHS bodies.

Community services contract returns to the NHS from private sector

The community contract serves more than 600,000 people

West Suffolk NHS Trust, Ipswich Hospital NHS Trust, and Norfolk Community Health and Care NHS Trust have jointly been awarded preferred bidder status to run community health services in Suffolk from 1 October.

The services were previously provided by private firm Serco, but after announcing a £13.7 million loss on the contract last year, the firm announced it would not bid again for the services when the contract was due to end in October.

The contract, which provides adult community services, specialist children’s services, and community hospitals across all of Suffolk apart from Waveney, serves more than 600,000 people.

More money will be available for the one-year contract, which could be extended for a further year, but the awarding clinical commissioning groups would not reveal the exact level of funding. Serco’s three-year contract, awarded in 2012, was for £140 million.

Commissioners also said they did not anticipate any job losses when the contracts were transferred.

CSP senior negotiating officer Neil Lark said members currently working for Serco could expect to be transferred straight back to the NHS on 1 October.

‘It has been a very difficult contract for our members and they will be reassured about moving back into the NHS family,’ he said.

‘As we feared, the policy of outsourcing mainstream NHS services to large multinational companies isn’t working.

‘The lesson from this episode is that quality NHS care needs to be properly resourced and funded.’

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