10 minutes to rubber stamp £4m contract at Calderdale NHS commissioners’ meeting on 10th July

Calderdale Clinical Commissioning Group Governing Body is meeting in public on Thursday 10th July, at 3pm in the Shay Stadium Function Room 2. The main agenda item, which has been allocated 10 minutes, is for the CCG Contracts and Procurement officer Martin Pursey to present information for the CCG Governing Body to rubber stamp the decision by a Tender Responses Evaluation Panel to award a £4m contract for wheelchair services, starting in September 2014 and running for 3 years.

This contract raised important questions about the future of NHS and social care services in Calderdale, because the commissioners originally advertised it in January 2014 as a “part B health and social care service.” But following a successful challenge by an “outside party”, the commissioners re-advertised it as an open tender in March 2014.

(Apologies for not fact checking this very thoroughly but I have to work on a public library computer at the moment and only have 22 minutes left online. I think a part B service is one that doesn’t have to be advertised as an open tender but can be awarded to the existing provider. If anyone knows better, please say in comments box below this article.)

Four bids were submitted by the 28 April deadline. They were assessed by the Pre-Qualification Questionnaire Panel, and since all were successful at that stage, the Tender Responses Evaluation Panel (TREP) assessed all four tenders.

Greater Huddersfield Clinical Commissioning Group is the lead commissioner for this service and the TREP members were from:

  • GH CCG
  • North Kirklees CCG
  • Calderdale CCG
  • a Patient Rep
  • West and South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw Commissioning Support Unit Procurement Manager
  • the Joint Commissioning Manager for North Kirklees CCG/Greater Huddersfield CCG and  Kirklees Council.

Bids ranged from £7,815,559 to £4,235,465 and the cheapest bid has been chosen, subject to the approval of the CCGs Governing Bodies.

Mobilisation of the new wheelchair service will start 11th July, allowing a brief overlap with the existing wheelchair service whose contract ends in September 2014. Because of the tight turnaround, the new service provider will be supported by the Transformation Team of the CSU and the CCGs’ Commissioning Managers.

Plain Speaker has asked 3 questions of the CCCG Governing Body:

  • what are the transaction costs of procuring this service
  • what are the costs of the Transformation Team’s support
  • given the fact that this contract had to be advertised as an open tender  despite the commissioners’ intention to advertise it as a Part B health and social care service, how confident is the CCG that it will be able to procure Right Care services from existing NHS providers? What is the risk that the commissioners will have to put out community care services like cancer care and end of life care to private tenders, as has happened with the £1.2bn contracts for these two services in the East Midlands?

We need these procurement decisions to be more democratically accountable than a rubber stamp in 10 minutes at the CCG Governing Body meeting. More Later. My online library time has 3 minutes left.


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