Community services re-procurement

Frequently asked questions

Below is a list of common questions that we have been asked when we have been out and about speaking to people about our community services re-procurement.

Why couldn't the existing community services contract with Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust just continue?    

Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust has held the fixed term contract for NHS Southport and Formby Clinical Commissioning Group’s (CCG’s) community services since 2012. The CCG has extended the contract on two occasions – this represents the maximum time a contract can be extended beyond its formal end date and therefore, due to procurement law and statutory duties, the CCG had no choice at this point but to begin a re-procurement exercise.

In summary, NHS Southport and Formby CCG was not legally or statutorily able to further extend its community services contract with Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust and was required to re-procure its community services contract.

Are NHS providers being excluded from bidding for the community services contract?

No. NHS service providers are not being excluded from the bidding for NHS Southport and Formby CCG’s community services contract. The re-procurement exercise is open to all NHS and non-NHS providers – this includes Southport and Ormskirk Hospital Trust - who can choose to re-apply for this contract like any other NHS and non-NHS organisation.

The procurement process we are using involves stringent and thorough measures to ensure all bidders are treated fairly and transparently to ensure we secure the best provider possible for the benefit of our patients.

How do re-procurements work? 

CCGs review the services they commission on an ongoing basis in line with their legal and statutory duties. When a contract comes to an end, they have a legal and statutory duty to further review and re-procure (or re-tender) services to ensure they continue to offer the highest quality and best value services possible for their residents. 

There are a number of different stages to our re-tendering exercise as follows, and you will see that we have extended our contract award and mobilisation dates due to the complexity of the process and to ensure fairness between shortlisted bidders:

1. Market engagement day attended by organisations interesting in bidding - November 2015
2. Pre-Qualification Questionnaire published – early February 2016
3. Invitation to Tender sent to shortlisted bidders – late April 2016
4. Contract awarded – mid November 2016
5. Mobilisation of the new contract – November 2016 to end May 2017

Why can’t shortlisted bidders be named?

The procurement process we are using requires us to comply with stringent regulations to ensure all bidders are treated fairly and transparently. This process also helps us to secure the best provider possible. In line with this, releasing information about the bidders whilst the procurement is ongoing could compromise and harm the validity the process for a number of commercial reasons.

When will more information be available?

NHS Southport and Formby CCG expects the new contract to be awarded to the successful bidder in mid November 2016 and we will make this information available on our website as soon as we are able to do so.

Is NHS Southport and Formby CCG working with other CCGs on its re-procurement?

No - NHS Southport and Formby CCG is carrying out a sole re-procurement exercise for community services –it is important to note that this is entirely separate to the re-procurement that NHS West Lancashire CCG is currently carrying out. West Lancashire is re-procuring for some different, additional services and it is using a different process to re-procure these services, with different restrictions and timescales.

What does this means for patients?

Patients can still expect to have access to high quality community services throughout the procurement process and beyond, and the professionals who provide their care will not change as a result of this procurement beginning.

Ahead of the procurement we began speaking to local people about their experiences of community services and what they expect from them in the future. We are using a range of different methods to do this, including an online survey, and we are continuing to gather views from patients and local communities as part of this exercise.

What does this mean for staff?

We greatly value the skills, local knowledge and experience of community service staff and we are keen to ensure future models of care are both informed by and built upon this strong and committed workforce.

In addition, it is important to note that all re-procurement exercises are subject to stringent NHS workforce regulation and employment laws, including TUPE (Transfer of Undertaking Protection of Employment) regulations. These provide existing staff with particular safeguards in respect of their employment. 

When will you make a decision?

We expect to award our re-procured community services contract in late September 2016 with the expectation that it will become operational on 1 April 2017. Whilst our procurement process has strict requirements relating to when and what information we can release whilst the process is ongoing, we will post any updates on this website. 

How can I find out more about future community services? 

Community services have an integral role in our 5 year strategy for improving healthcare. We believe that all local health services need to provide more joined up care, in order to provide patients and carers with appropriate quality services. Joined up care is about hospitals, community services, GPs, social care, the voluntary sector and other partners working more closely together to deliver the best services for our local population.

We are committed to providing as much healthcare as possible as locally in the community as possible, working closely with patients, carers, GP practices, and a range of other care professionals, so hospitals can concentrate on providing more specialist care.