A rigorous selection process has begun to find a single organisation or consortium to coordinate over 200 different care and support services in Bath and North East Somerset from April 2017.
NHS Bath and North East Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group (BaNES CCG) and Bath & North East Somerset Council have invited local and national health and care organisations to submit formal bids setting out why they should get the 10 year contract, worth almost £70 million per year.
The procurement exercise follows a year of engagement and consultation with people who use community services and their carers.
The views of the local health and care workforce across a range of NHS, private and voluntary sector organisations have also been taken into account.
The your care, your way review found that satisfaction with individual services was very high but there is a need for services to work together in a more joined up way with equal focus on physical and mental health.
There was also strong support for more prevention services in the community that help people to take better care of themselves and remain independent for as long as possible.
Dr Ian Orpen, a local GP and Clinical Chair of BaNES CCG said: “Overall, the quality of care provided in B&NES is very high but people have told us loud and clear they want their care to be more joined up so they don’t have to repeat their story every time they see a new person or access a new service.
“The CCG and the Council are looking for a single organisation or consortium to coordinate all the community services across B&NES.
“This will make it easier for people to access support when they need it, particularly from voluntary sector and community groups who provide vital and valued support in the community.”
Cllr Vic Pritchard, Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Health at Bath & North East Somerset Council said: “The ageing population in B&NES means the demand for care and support services is rising year on year but the funding we have available is not keeping pace.
“The Council and the CCG work very closely together to ensure that our services integrate with each other as seamlessly as possible but this review has shown that we need to go further to improve care for local people and to make services financially sustainable.
The CCG and the Council have recruited a team of local volunteers with experience of community services to help them decide who the contract should be awarded to.
The Community Champions represent a range of local health and social care groups including Healthwatch, the Stroke Association and the Carers’ Centre.
They have received training and support to read bid documents and take part in evaluation meetings alongside senior managers and commissioners.
Nancy McGiveron is a Community Champion from Midsomer Norton. She said: “My son-in-law has advanced MS and I have seen first-hand how disjointed the care package can be.
“I’m hoping through this process that we can deliver a joined up care package for everybody in B&NES regardless of their circumstances.”
Nick Ramsey volunteered as a Community Champion in order to give something back to the local community.
Nick said: “I’ve been a carer for 10 years for my partner who has vascular dementia. If this project can deliver better care for people like her who are living with long term conditions then it will be worth it.”
More details of the procurement process can be found at www.yourcareyourway.org along with a short video about the Community Champions.