Virgin Care announced as preferred bidder for community services

People in Bath and North East Somerset are set to receive more coordinated care, closer to home, after the local CCG and Council announced Virgin Care as their preferred bidder to coordinate over 200 health and care services in people’s homes and communities.
 
The new “prime provider” contract will make it easier for different health and care professionals to work more closely together to deliver better outcomes for local people.   
 
Subject to further assessment, NHS Bath and North East Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and Bath & North East Somerset Council expect to award the contract to Virgin Care in November 2016. There will then be a five month transition period before services start to transfer to the new provider on 1 April 2017.
 
The announcement follows a two-year programme of engagement and consultation with local people and professionals to identify their priorities for health and care services delivered outside of hospitals and GP practices.
 
Dr Ian Orpen, a local GP and Clinical Chair of the CCG said:
 
“We have listened carefully to what local people had to say and we have a very good understanding of the improvements they would like to see.
 
“Many people have difficulty finding their way around the health and care system to get the care they need. Virgin Care’s proposal means that services can be better co-ordinated and people will be supported to access all the services that can help them improve their health and wellbeing.”
 
Cllr Vic Pritchard, Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Health said:
 
“People told us they want more care delivered closer to home so services will be organised around GP practices providing access to a wider range of health and care professionals in people’s communities.”
 
“They also asked us to join up services and information so that it’s easier for different professionals to work together to coordinate care. Virgin Care will enable this to happen by bringing people’s health and care records into one secure place.”
 
“We will also include a clause in the contract which requires any financial surplus made by the new prime provider to be reinvested into services in B&NES.”   
 
Virgin Care was selected as preferred bidder following a rigorous procurement process, competing against a partnership of local providers led by Sirona care & health. 
 
Over 50 community champions and subject matter experts were involved in evaluating the two bidders. References were also obtained from staff, partners and service users in other areas of the country where the bidders provide services.  
 
The CCG and the Council will now begin three months of intensive testing and discussions with Virgin Care.  A full business case will be presented to the Council and CCG Board at public meetings on Thursday 10 November to seek their authorisation to formally award the contract.
 

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