In October 2014, Cornwall Council, NHS Kernow, NHS England the Council for the Isles of Scilly announced their intentions to put 23 services, totally £20.5m into a procurement process. For Cornwal Council this was the issue of the Tender for Children’s Community Health & Wellbeing Services which includes Health Visiting, Family Nurse Partnership, School Nursing and Specialist Speech & Language Therapy.
The services in scope for the tender and the responsible agencies are as follows:
Cornwall Council Services, totalling £9m:
- Health Visiting
- Family Nurse Partnership
- School Nursing
- Specialist Speech & Language Therapy.
NHS Kernow Services totalling £11.9m:
- Child and Adolescent Specialist Mental Health Service Primary Mental Health Worker Service
- Children’s Eating Disorder Services
- Special Parenting
- Child Health Development Service
- Autism Spectrum Disorder Diagnostic Service
- Community Paediatric Occupational Therapy
- Community Paediatric Dietetics
- Community Paediatric Obesity service
- Speech and Language Therapy
- Community Specialist Epilepsy Nursing
- Community Paediatric Physiotherapy
- Learning Disability Service Diana Nursing Service
- Specialist Paediatric Continence Service
- Vulnerable Children’s Nursing Service Community Children’s Nursing
- Nursing in Special Schools Nurse Liaison
At present children and young people’s community health services are currently provided by Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust; Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust, Peninsula Community Health, and Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust.
However, following the recent national announcement about the Cornwall Devolution Deal and the towards a single, ring-fenced budget for health and social care that is commissioned singly and locally, a decision has been taken by all commissioners (Cornwall Council, NHS England, the Council for the Isles of Scilly and NHS Kernow) to halt the tender process as we all believe the powers in the devolution deal will enable us together to commission a fully joined-up children’s services.
I as Portfolio Holder believe this will allow us to deliver seamless children’s services, in line with our plans to integrate commissioning as set out in the Deal. Cornwall should then have an integrated children’s community health service from, or before, April 2017.
It is important to highlight that children and their families using existing services will not be affected by this decision. They should attend all appointments as normal. Children will continue to receive appropriate services according to their need.
By halting this procurement the work that has been undertaken to date will be used in taking integrated commissioning forward. This will be supported by the “Lessons Learnt” work that I asked for and is currently being undertaken to ensure integrated commissioning going forward. This is because this procurement was one of the first large-scale joint-commissioning projects and some financial, legal and governance rules need to modified to enable greater integration.
In the meantime, we will be talking to current providers of children’s services to ensure these services continue for another year.