Cambridgeshire's £800m NHS out-sourcing contract to be reviewed

Addenbrooke's hospital sign Image copyright PA
Image caption Cambridge University Hospitals runs Addenbrooke's and Rosie hospitals

The collapse of an £800m NHS out-sourcing contract is to reviewed by independent experts.

UnitingCare started to supply older people and adult community healthcare in April, but pulled out of the contract earlier in December.

It was a consortium of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust and Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

NHS England is to commission the investigation.

As reported by the Health Service Journal, NHS England is seeking answers about the circumstances leading up to the termination of the contract.

Lord Prior of Brampton, minister for NHS productivity, said it would also consider how similar contracts "will be managed and assured in the future".

Image caption Campaigners had opposed the transfer of NHS services to a private company

The contract was meant to run for five years, but older people's services have been transferred back to Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group (CPCCG).

UnitingCare was selected to run the service by CPCCG after a lengthy procurement process and from a shortlist of three organisations.

It said it was not "financially sustainable" to continue with the contract.

Dr Neil Modha, chief clinical officer at CPCCG, said: "The CCG will be conducting an internal review to begin shortly and advice from other parties will form part of the review.

"We will of course work closely with NHS England on any review that they commission. Our current priorities are to ensure continuity of services following the ending of the contract on 3 December."

Labour peer Lord Hunt said he was "very concerned" about the impact the "extraordinary" series of events was having on patients.

"I'm going to be pressing NHS England to make sure the review is made public," he said. "People locally have every right to know what went wrong, who is responsible, and what is going to happen."

What did the £800m five-year contract cover?

  • Urgent care for adults aged 65 and over, including inpatients and A&E services
  • Mental health services for people aged 65 and over
  • Adult community services for people aged 18 and over, including district nursing and rehabilitation services
  • Health services to support the care of people aged 65 and over

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