New community health contract for most of Suffolk starts today

Stephen Dunn, chief executive of West Suffolk Hospital, welcomed the new contract as a chance to create 'joined up' services ANL-150303-115935001
Stephen Dunn, chief executive of West Suffolk Hospital, welcomed the new contract as a chance to create 'joined up' services ANL-150303-115935001

NHS Community Health services for most of Suffolk have a new provider from today.

West Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group and Ipswich and East Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group have awarded the NHS contract to West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust, working in partnership with Ipswich Hospital NHS Trust and Norfolk Community Health and Care NHS Trust. It covers the county except for the Waveney district.

Serco, which has delivered services for three years, chose not to bid again for the contract.

Suffolk Community Healthcare remains as is, which means that existing staff remain in place. The contract covers a range of adult community services, specialist children’s services and community hospitals.

Professor Dr Stephen Dunn, chief executive at West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust said: “We are delighted that the partnership has today started delivering community services across Suffolk and look forward to continuing to work closely together to provide the best possible care to our patients.

“During the past two weeks, I have shadowed district nurses and the specialist COPD team and seen how fantastically dedicated the staff are, and heard how much they are looking forward to working even closer together for the benefit of local patients.

“Our long term strategy is to further develop integrated, joined up services that break down the organisational barriers which can get in the way of great patient care.”

Dr Simon Arthur, West Suffolk CCG governing body member and a Newmarket GP, said: “People work really hard in the community to support patients, and their efforts are often unsung. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all those people who work tirelessly to keep people living independently as long as possible.”

Serco’s Abi Tierney, outgoing chief executive of Suffolk Community Healthcare said: “I am incredibly proud of what we have achieved over the past three years and thank the team for all their hard work and dedication. Serco today hands over a safe and high-performing service which 99 per cent of patients and carers would recommend to their friends and family.”

This is a year-long contract, with the option to extend for a further year by mutual arrangements.