Statement regarding the future of our NHS contracts

6 Sep 2019 Katherine.hicks

Bristol Community Health (BCH) Board met on 5 September, following the recent award of the Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire (BNSSG) Adults’ Community Healthcare contract to Sirona care & health, for a 10 year period starting April 2020.

The purpose of this meeting was to decide our future role in providing our remaining NHS contracts, which include:

  • Children’s Community Healthcare services across Bristol and South Gloucestershire (run in partnership with Sirona).
  • Offender Healthcare across Bristol, South Gloucestershire and Wiltshire (run as the InspireBetterHealth partnership).
  • Diabetic Eye Screening Programme across Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire.

Over the past few weeks, the Board has looked at every available option to enable our organisation to continue to provide these services, which are so important to our patients, service users, local people and staff, and which are so much a part of our identity. The Board has undertaken detailed financial analyses, spoken at length with commissioners about their vision for services in the future, and looked at ways of reducing costs using different structures and innovative, lower cost operating models.

After evaluating all options, the Board has come to the decision that it is not possible for a much smaller BCH to close the gap between what it costs to run these smaller contracts and the income we receive for delivering them, without the financial contributions of a larger contract such as the Adults’ Community Healthcare contract. In addition, the Board is not able to mitigate the major clinical risks that running the business very differently, with a much reduced capacity, would bring.

Because of this, we have decided to issue notice on these contracts to our commissioners, as we cannot continue to provide services, which are not financially or clinically viable.  Our priority now is the safe transfer of services, working in partnership with commissioners and the new providers until the last day of each contract. The vast majority of our staff will TUPE over to the new providers when the services transfer. Patients, their families and the public will experience a seamless transfer of service and no difference in the care that they receive. The Board will then make a decision about the long term future of Bristol Community Health in late 2019.

If you are a patient of BCH or a member of the public and have any questions about this news, please contact our Patient and Public Experience team via our Contact Us page.