Bristol Community Health CIC and North Somerset Community Partnership CIC have announced their intention to merge. The merger will take place after August 2019, subject to a successful joint partnership bid for the BNSSG* Adults’ Community Healthcare Contract. This news follows the local CCG’s announcement of its intention to commission a single provider to run the service from April 2020.
As the current providers of Adults’ Community Healthcare in Bristol and North Somerset, the two staff-owned Community Interest Companies (CICs) share a track record of delivering high quality local services. As not-for-profit social enterprises, they also share a common core purpose of delivering NHS healthcare for the exclusive benefit of local people, communities and staff.
Yesterday, staff shareholders in both organisations voted overwhelmingly in favour of merging, subject to a successful bid for the BNSSG contract next year.
Julia Clarke, Chief Executive of Bristol Community Health (BCH) said: “Merging with NSCP puts us in the best possible position to win this tender, for the benefit of local people and staff who want to see local healthcare delivered by local not-for-profit providers. Put simply, we are stronger together.
“Our organisations have a track record of delivering high quality NHS community health services which meet the diverse needs of the local population. We have led the way in transforming local community services and delivering system wide priorities. If we merge, we can maximise efficiencies and achieve best value use of public money.”
Judith Brown, Chief Executive of North Somerset Community Partnership (NSCP) said: “Our organisations are passionate about community health care – keeping people out of hospital, maximising their independence and supporting them to remain well at home. We share a vision for how to achieve this through joint working with local GPs and other health and social care provider organisations.
“We both create measurable community and social impact – the lives of local people are better, and communities are stronger, because of what we do. We share a growing number of projects which deliver social value locally, including peer support groups, leg clubs and a community navigators project which tackles loneliness. Both organisations have also set up small charitable grants.”
When the two CICs merge, together they will create the UK’s largest healthcare mutual. The merged organisation will also be in the top ten employee-owned organisations by size, nationally.
*Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire