Update on Eccleshill Treatment Centre
I am writing to update you on progress towards re-procuring the diagnostic services currently provided by Care UK at Eccleshill Treatment Centre.
As you may recall, the outcome of a recent tendering process left us unable to award a new contract for the NHS diagnostic and treatment services at the Centre from July 2014. We commenced the reprocurement process some months ago and fully expected to be in a position of being able to award the contract. Unfortunately this did not happen. Accordingly, we have been working closely with the other local CCGs that use the services at Eccleshill and the current provider, Care UK, to ensure the interests of patients and staff remain the highest priority.
The current position is as follows:
EU regulations did not permit the CCG to extend the contract any further and a full reprocurement was our only option. None of the bids we received met the full requirements, and as a result the contract could not be awarded. However, we are working with Care UK to ensure the continuity of services for all the patients currently being treated at the Treatment Centre.
Following the finalisation of specifications to re-procure the diagnostic services currently provided at Eccleshill – adverts have now been placed to reprocure. The advert specifies these services can be provided from a single provider or multiple providers and we await expressions of interest before the closing date in mid-June. We are looking at all options to deliver the best outcomes and choices for local people.
The re-procurement will follow the national Any Qualified Providers (AQP) process. Direct access diagnostics services including MRI, CT, Ultrasound are being re-procured via this process and will be available for referrals as soon as we have completed the procurement checks and issued contracts. The closing date for expressions of interest is 12th June.
The Endoscopy service specification has been reviewed by clinical leads (external to Bradford and Leeds) and has also been advertised for Any Qualified Providers with a closing date of 14th June. The service will commence as soon as procurement checks have been made and contracts issued.
Oral surgery is commissioned by NHS England which is making its own arrangements for alternative providers, as it contracts separately for this service.
For orthopaedics, pain management, urology, gynaecology, general surgery and plastic surgery, we are assured by our existing providers that there is sufficient capacity in the overall NHS system to ensure that all national NHS referral to treatment targets are maintained. Therefore, any new patient referrals for these specialties will be offered a choice of alternative provider via the NHS Choose & Book system when Care UK closes down its services at Eccleshill. Any re-procurement of services will follow NHS procurement and EU regulations in terms of rules of co-operation and competition.
There will only be a small number of patients who have not had their completed treatment before 7 July 2014 – when the current contract ends – and these will be offered a choice of provider for their ongoing care. We have identified two specialties where this may be the case: pain management and orthopaedics.
- For pain management ongoing care, the consultants who work at Eccleshill for Care UK also work at Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (BTHFT) and Ramsay (Yorkshire Clinic) and these patients will be offered a choice of where they would receive their future treatment. This ensures that the patients continue to receive their care from the same consultant as they do now.
- For orthopaedics, Care UK has identified a number of patients who have had their initial consultation, but because of holidays booked are not available for their treatment before the end of June. We are discussing with Care UK the best options for these patients to ensure safe transfer of care to another provider for their surgical treatment. There are a number of alternative providers currently available and accessible to NHS patients, which include Spire, Nuffield, Ramsay Healthcare, as well as Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Airedale NHS Foundation Trust, or Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust.
- At the moment, there are no other identified patients who will require transfer of care to another provider.
If patients have appointments booked at the Treatment Centre up to the start of July they will continue to be seen there as part of the current arrangements. Local GPs are being advised of referral protocols to follow for new patients leading up to the end of the contract.
Care UK staff
Care UK has commenced a period of consultation with the staff employed at the Treatment Centre and, where appropriate, will seek to redeploy colleagues into other Care UK operated contracts in the area. Additionally, Care UK will facilitate opportunities for colleagues to meet with other healthcare providers in the area to secure their future employment.
Eccleshill Treatment Centre building
It is important to stress that we would not like to see Eccleshill Treatment Centre close. However, whilst the decision is not one that the CCG can make, we do have some influence and are talking to NHS Property Services – who own the building – to try and prevent decisions being taken that do not fit with our commissioning plans.
I am aware that a tentative expression of interest in taking over the whole of the building has been received from two potential service providers. However, under procurement rules, these cannot be developed further until the tender period has ended and all expressions of interest have been evaluated.