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Out of Hours Medical Services Procurement

NHS Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group has decided to cancel the current procurement process so that the future contract can fully reflect the future out of hours service needs of Gloucestershire’s residents. 

We have taken this decision so that we can fully evaluate the impact of NHS 111 on the Out of Hours service including the number of telephone referrals in to the service, face to face patient appointments at out of hours centres and patient visits.

The Governing Body has also considered the benefits of not completing this process in late Autumn as we work with our health and social care partners to address urgent care pressures and plan for the Winter period.

Furthermore, as commissioners this step offers us additional time to give greater consideration to the contribution of out of hours services alongside other emergency and urgent care services in Gloucestershire.

The Governing Body agreed that a future procurement process will begin during 2014 and that this should happen for a number of reasons. For example: 

  • we can explore how best to ensure continuous improvement in out of hours services, including really joined up care and the best possible co-ordination between different parts of the service
  • it will allow providers to demonstrate how they would develop innovative services to meet future service challenges
  • we can ensure the service achieves the best possible value for money compared to similar services in comparable areas
  • the Cooperation and Competition Panel have advised us that as there are alternative providers in the market, this is a service which should be subject to competitive tender in the future.

We are currently in discussion with the current providers of out of hours services, Gloucestershire Care Services NHS Trust and South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust to ensure service continuity during the interim period.       

We would like to thank all parties involved in the previous procurement process for their contributions and we are confident that work done to date to respond to the service specification will be of value in the future.  

NHS Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group is totally committed to commissioning the highest quality services for patients in Gloucestershire and this continues to be the guiding principle in our decision making.

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