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04 August 2016

New partnership to deliver community health services for children

A new partnership of healthcare providers, including University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust, has been selected as the preferred bidder to deliver community health services for children and young people in Bristol, South Gloucestershire and North Somerset.

The services that fall within the scope of this contract include; health visiting, school nursing, child and adolescent mental health (CAMHS), speech and language therapy (SALT), occupational therapy and physiotherapy, community paediatricians, community nursing and a range of dedicated services for vulnerable children including children in care, children with learning disabilities, children with life limiting conditions and children with drug and alcohol problems.

The partnership is made up of local, not for profit and NHS providers; Bristol Community Health CIC, Sirona care & health CIC, North Somerset Community Partnership CIC, Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust and University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust.

Two other services are being commissioned separately as part of the overall re-commissioning of Children's Community Health Services. These are CAMHS Tier 4 specialised services, which provide assessment and treatment for children and young people with more complex needs usually requiring inpatient treatment, and the Paediatric Primary Care Clinical Support Service.

Bristol, South Gloucestershire and North Somerset Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs), Bristol City Council, South Gloucestershire Council and NHS England commenced the re-procurement process for children's community health services at the beginning of February 2016.

Subject to successful preferred bidder discussions during the next few months, services under the new contract will commence in April 2017.

Julia Clarke, Chief Executive at Bristol Community Health said: "I'm absolutely delighted that our partnership has been awarded preferred bidder status. Building on the work we've achieved over the last year as interim provider (in partnership with Sirona care & health CIC and AWP), our expanded partnership can now focus on providing a more joined up, regional children's community healthcare service which will break down the organisational and sector barriers that can get in the way of great family care. Our not-for-profit partnership also benefits from an alignment of values which we firmly believe will benefit families over time." 

Janet Rowse, Sirona care & health's chief executive, said: "We are really excited about the opportunities this presents to build on the work we have started within South Gloucestershire as part of the interim contract and to build even closer working with our well established community adult services and our partners in Bristol and North Somerset.  Sirona has a strong track record of providing and developing community healthcare services for children, young people and families in Bath and North East Somerset and we will work hard to join up this experience with that of the services across the Community Children's Healthcare Partnership so that services continue to be the best they can be for the communities of South Gloucestershire.

AWP chief executive Hayley Richards said, "I'm delighted with the decision of the commissioners. Across the partnership our many highly skilled, vastly experienced experts in children's healthcare have been working together incredibly hard to develop a proposal that meets the needs of children, young people and families across South Gloucestershire, North Somerset and Bristol.We have formed a strong, positive partnership and I'm looking forward to developing that further over the next five years. From the perspective of AWP, I have been very impressed with the incredibly caring child and adolescent mental health staff who transferred into our Trust in April. They have enhanced our organisation and I'm delighted that they will be staying with us."

Robert Woolley, chief executive of University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust: "We are very proud to be working in partnership with organisations that share our values and commitment in delivering high quality, accessible and integrated services for children, young people and families across Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire and believe this way of working collaboratively is the future.

"Our role in the new service model will focus on ensuring that acute and community services are well integrated and the transition between paediatric and adult services is a smooth and effective process."

Penny Brown, chief executive of North Somerset Community Partnership said:  "We are delighted that our consortium has been announced as preferred bidder and are confident that this model of care will enhance our service offering in North Somerset. We are looking forward to working with our partners to refine our plan, to ensure our communities receive the best possible care within the resources available."