Five local clinical commissioning groups in the south west will jointly commission services currently provided by NHS treatment centres in:

  • Cirencester
  • Emersons Green
  • Devizes

The treatment centres came into being in November 2009 and their contracts are due to end at the end of October this year.

Now Gloucestershire, South Gloucestershire, Bristol, North Somerset and Bath & North East Somerset CCGs are commissioning services that will run from November 2015.

Independent Sector Treatment Centres (ISTCs) were contracts established centrally by the NHS to provide non-emergency surgery, diagnostic tests and outpatient appointments for NHS patients within the area of the CCGs.

Now the five CCGs will work together to agree new contracts so that services currently provided through the ISTCs can continue when the contract expires.

The new contracts will be tailored to meet local needs and will be monitored to ensure high standards of care.

The centres were designed to give NHS patients more choice about where to go for operations and procedures locally. They have provided significant extra capacity in the area, and the CCGs have recognised this as a continuing local requirement.

Mary Hutton, Accountable Officer at NHS Gloucestershire CCG, said:

“The extra services have given the local NHS more capacity, offered patients more choice about where they are treated and contributed to shorter waiting times.

The contracts will be open to a range of NHS providers and other healthcare organisations. Plans will be finalised before the end of March and will fit with CCG approaches that include working with local GPs on wider plans, and making the very best use of Cirencester hospital facilities.”

The CCGs have announced the start of this contract process on their websites (e.g. on Glos CCG site here) and patients who have used the services at the treatment centres are invited to take part in a survey about their experiences and to suggest improvements. The survey is open until 11 March 2015. GPs are also being asked for their feedback.

Once the feedback has been received, the next step will be for the CCGs to finalise plans for the services before the end of March and start the contracting process.