One of England’s largest current healthcare contracts has been awarded to an alliance partnership comprising East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust, GP Primary Choice, Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust and Virgin.
Under the 10-year contract, North East Essex Integrated Community Services (NICS) will be responsible for providing services such as community nursing and intermediate care, stroke rehabilitation and community beds from July 2021.
Services were previously provided through the Care Closer to Home contract that was delivered by Anglian Community Enterprise (ACE). The new contract is designed to drive a much greater emphasis on integration with a broad range of private and voluntary sector organisations, charities as well as local authority and health sectors working together.
Dr Ed Garratt, Chief Executive of the NHS North East Essex Clinical Commissioning Group which awarded the contact, said: “The selection of the partnership has been a very rigorous and thorough process. The organisations demonstrated a strong commitment to quality, service delivery and learning from patients’ experience. They have been working together for some time as part of our alliance, and so have a strong relationship to build upon and a good understanding of the local population.”
In addition to the four main providers, there are a number of associates, including local authorities and voluntary groups, who will be partly responsible for ensuring the services link effectively with the communities they serve.
Ed added: “One of the important areas from public feedback was the need for our services to be more joined up. The approach that the alliance will take is in line with our broader strategy of integrated care which seeks to reduce duplication by bringing together health and care professionals in locally-based community teams and form closer service links with our magnificent voluntary sector.”