Providers Confirmed for Oldham's Community Health Services

NHS Oldham Clinical Commissioning Group has announced this week which organisations will provide community-based health services across the borough, following a successful competitive tender exercise.

From 1 April 2014, Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust will retain the majority of the contracts including services such as integrated nursing teams, therapy services, specialist nursing and enhanced intermediate care.

The Trust will also become the lead provider of all end of life care in the borough. Continence services will be provided by consultant-led Lancaster House Consulting, Diagnostics & Surgical Ltd, which is a local, private provider and respiratory care will be provided by Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, which also runs the Royal Oldham Hospital.

One of the fundamental responsibilities of Clinical Commissioning Groups when they were created was to design, plan and purchase local NHS services for the communities they serve, and the tendering process has therefore formed a significant part of the work carried out by the team at Oldham since the CCG’s authorisation in April 2013.

Its completion marks an important step on the journey towards realising the CCG’s triple aim, of improving local health outcomes through driving better value for money and delivering a better patient experience.

Dr Ian Wilkinson, Chief Clinical Officer for Oldham CCG explained: “The successful re-procurement of our community services contracts is a key milestone for us, and one which we’re proud to have achieved in a relatively short space of time. Our teams, both within the CCG and also at the Greater Manchester Commissioning Support Unit, have worked in partnership to afford a great deal of support to this piece of work, and we are confident that the preferred bidders will work with us to deliver improved, high quality services to the patients of Oldham.”

The re-procurement work also clearly demonstrates the CCG’s ambition to provide care closer to home wherever possible, and will help bring to life the planned model of care that it set out to deliver in April 2013 - enabling responsive, locally attuned and joined up services, driven by cluster based GPs who are at the very heart of their communities.

Dr Wilkinson added: “This is a very real and tangible development which will help bring to life some of the plans we’ve been talking about in our Governing Body meetings for several months now. But it won’t stop here. We will continue to push forward and focus on improving services across the borough, transforming healthcare and putting our patients at the heart of everything we do.”

Led by an experienced panel of clinical and management professionals, the procurement panel also involved a number of patients, who were invited to play a key part in the process, scoring the individual bidders against set criteria and representing the patient voice.

The CCG also spoke to more than 100 patients at two public events in June last year, asking them about their experiences and gathering their thoughts on how it could best deliver truly integrated care in Oldham. The findings from these events were also fed into the re-procurement process, helping the panellists to understand what key issues are really important to patients and how the redesigned services can help wrap care around them more effectively.

Dr Wilkinson commented: “It’s important that whenever we look to develop the services we commission that we involve the people who will be affected. Without their input, we don’t have a true picture of how things are being delivered currently, and how we can really improve things.”

Michael McCourt, Chief Executive of Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust, said: “This is an outstanding achievement for the Trust and we are absolutely delighted to remain the preferred provider for the majority of community services in the Oldham borough.

“It is a real testament to our staff and services in the borough, who work tirelessly to provide high quality care to local people. Throughout the tender, we demonstrated an ambitious approach to transform services at pace and scale, with the ability to form effective partnerships within the communities we serve.”

Dr Georges Ng Man Kwong, Consultant Chest Physician and Clinical Director for Long Term Conditions (Oldham), Pennine Acute NHS Hospitals Trust added: “As provider of choice for the Oldham Integrated Respiratory Service we look forward to working with patients, health professionals and partners to deliver a high standard of care that is centred in the community. Importantly this will involve integrating and shifting some of our services from the hospital into the home setting.

“Our patient and carer model of care will support prevention and diagnosis of lung conditions, exercise and activity, better use of medicines and inhalers, home support including managing flare ups and reducing admissions to hospital."