New provider for community care

Latest health news from the Suffolk Free Press, suffolkfreepress.co.uk, @sfpsudbury on Twitter
Latest health news from the Suffolk Free Press, suffolkfreepress.co.uk, @sfpsudbury on Twitter

The preferred bidder to deliver NHS community health services for the population of Suffolk has been announced.

West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust, Ipswich Hospital NHS Trust and Norfolk Community Health and Care NHS Trust have worked together, with the contract to be held by West Suffolk Hospital.

The trust has assured patients they will continue to receive the same services, by the same staff in the same locations.

Community health services are currently delivered by Serco, as part of a three-year contract, which will end on September 30, with the new provider will taking over on October 1.

A range of adult community services, specialist children’s services and community hospitals will be delivered.

The contract has been awarded by NHS Ipswich and East Suffolk and NHS West Suffolk clinical commissioning groups, the local GP-led healthcare commissioners.

Professor Dr Stephen Dunn, chief executive at West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust said: “The announcement of preferred bidder supports our existing work, long term plan and those of our partners, to deliver the highest quality health service through integrated working.

“In practice this means patients will benefit from a partnership of local NHS trusts with experience in delivering award-winning care.

“By providing a more joined up service we will be able to break down the organisational barriers that can get in the way of great patient care.”

Frances Jackson, a member of Sudbury health group Watch, said she was pleased West Suffolk had been given the contract, having been critical of the service offered by Serco.

“I think it is a step in the right direction,” she said. “It should be a good joined up service.”

Abi Tierney, Serco chief executive, said: “Despite the operational and financial challenges we have faced, we are now delivering a first class community service for the people of Suffolk and it is arguably now one of the best in the country.”