Bid to privatise out of hospital care is scrapped

jpns-15-06-13-006 patient with nurse
jpns-15-06-13-006 patient with nurse
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Health campaigners are celebrating news that out of hospital care services across the district will no longer be privatised after months of lobbying.

The South Warwickshire Clinical commissioning Group (CCG) last year said it would rethink its delivery of out of hospital services, and put the major £21m contract out to private tender.

At a time when the NHS and Public Health England are being asked to make cuts and savings, this process would have meant an additional burden which was completely unnecessary

Anna Pollert

But despite already spending £300,000 into the tendering process, it announced on Friday that the plan had been scrapped, and all services kept within the NHS.

Campaigners said it was a bittersweet moment, as although the decision had been reversed, £300,000 had already been “wasted” on the process.

The unpopular changes 
included everything from post emergency treatment, end of life care and in home nursing services, and was challenged by Warwickshire County Councillors and other health trusts.

Bosses from the South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust and South Warwickshire GP Federation, who currently manage the contracts, have hailed the decision as the very best outcome.

A spokesperson said: “The decision from South Warwickshire Clinical Commissioning Group to not go ahead with a competitive procurement process provides a great opportunity to move more rapidly to a new model of care for out of hospital services.

“This new model will bring us together with other existing providers to focus on delivering the best services within our communities.

“It is now up to us to collaborate effectively with all local partner organisations and our patients to press on with our transformation and integration ambitions.”

Welcoming the news, Anna Pollert, chair of pressure group, South Warks Keep Our NHS Public, said: “At last they have called a halt to this shocking waste of taxpayers’ money.

“We have been saying for almost nine months that this was completely wasteful and misguided.

“At a time when the NHS and Public Health England are being asked to make cuts and savings to their budgets, this process would have meant an additional burden which was completely unnecessary.

“We welcome the decision but it has come at totally unnecessary cost.”

Nobody from the CCG responded to comment on the turnaround decision, but clinical chair David Spraggett said of the tendering process: “Patients have told us that they want a health and social care system that is better joined up and easier to navigate.

“They also want more control over their care and more of their care delivered closer to home.”

A previous statement from the CCG read: “The CCG is aware that there is a lot of interest in how these services are commissioned and welcomes involvement from patients and the public.”