Statement regarding Children’s Community Health Services petition

Date: 28 Aug 2015

Category: Statements

Bristol Clinical Commissioning Group received a petition on Wednesday 26 August signed by 6,362 people. The petition was not attributed to any group or organisation.

The petition was submitted for the attention of Bristol Clinical Commissioning Group, Bristol City Council, South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group, South Gloucestershire Council, North Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group, North Somerset Council and NHS England.

The petition states:

“We are calling on the above named organisations to ensure that all the services within the Children’s Community Health Partnership (CCHP) including the Inpatient Adolescent Mental Health Service continue to be provided together and within the NHS.”

As detailed in previous statements we are currently working with our partners (South Gloucestershire CCG, Bristol City Council and South Gloucestershire Council and NHS England) to appoint an interim provider for children’s community health services. (North Somerset CCG is not part of the interim process as the CCG already has a provider in place).

These arrangements will be put in place while we develop a new long-term model of service to be commissioned by all partners, as well as North Somerset CCG and North Somerset Council.

This model is being put out for consultation in September and will lead to the award of a long-term contract from April 2017.

Interim contract

We have been obliged to implement interim arrangements following notification from the current provider, North Bristol NHS Trust, that they will cease provision of the Children’s Community Health Partnership (CCHP) contract from March 2016.

In these circumstances we have had to move swiftly to secure an interim provider, following standard NHS procurement guidelines.

As an NHS organisation we have to follow strict national procurement guidelines and procedures including the requirement that we treat all bidders equitably, irrespective of whether they are public or private sector providers.

This process includes dialogue with bidders at each stage in order to refine their submissions and ensure the commissioners’ quality, safety and value for money requirements are met. The process began with a formal advertisement in June 2015 and commissioners are planning to announce a preferred bidder during October 2015, with a formal award in late 2015.

Bids received during the procurement process will be thoroughly scrutinised by a range of qualified and experienced evaluators. The evaluation panel will include colleagues from each of the commissioners, as well as experts on equality and diversity, human resources & information management and technology, and will also include representation from young people’s groups.

The service will continue to be funded by the NHS and local authorities.

Alongside this process, NHS England is separately looking for a new organisation to take over the running of specialised inpatient treatment for the relatively small number of young people with very serious mental health difficulties. Going to tender in early September, it aims to find a new interim provider of these services, known as Tier 4 Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS), by the end of the year. It will ensure services remain at the Riverside site, with the same staff, hand in hand with all other children’s services in the area.

As commissioners, the clinical safety of the service is of paramount importance to us and our main priority is to identify the provider who can ensure the best quality service for the children and young people who are using the service.

Children, young people, their families and carers should be reassured that there are no plans to change the care and support provided to them during the period of the interim contract, which will run until the end of March 2017.

Longer term contract

Since early 2014 the commissioning organisations have worked together to seek the views of children, young people, parents, carers and health, education and social care professionals on the current children’s community health services to develop plans for a new model of care for the future.

For the full children’s community health services re-commissioning, a three-month public consultation exercise will be launched in September 2015, and a full procurement process will follow to identify a long-term supplier to provide these services starting in April 2017.