On Wednesday I had an interesting meeting with the Chair of the NHS Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group Maureen Donnelly about the Older People’s Procurement process which is currently out to tender. I am particularly interested in this matter because there are a few surgeries in my constituency which refer patients to Addenbrookes Hospital in Cambridge which will be affected by the new measures to be introduced under the Older People’s Programme. It is very important that proper provision is made for the care of people over 65 given concerns about current forms of care available to those in this age range in this region and Maureen brought me to date with the latest news on the Older People’s Procurement process contract. Talks are ongoing between the CCG and those organisations in the shortlist to roll out the contract so that the most suitable care provider can be selected next year. I understand that the criteria required by the CCG for the shortlisted organisations is determined by their ability to provide certain outcomes. It is up to the organisation in question with the budget available to decide on the best way of delivering care in order to provide such outcomes.
I realise that there are some in my constituency who have reservations about the provision of care in this way and have likened it to a form of privatisation. What I took away from the meeting is that unlike in industries which have been privatised there can be several tiers of contract provision thereby detracting from the level of care provided, the organisation which is chosen next year by the CCG will only allowed to be a primary contractor and will not be able to subcontract services out. They will also be required to utilise current over 65 care services and incorporate them in their care provision plan. It is important to note that despite the care provision programme being a 5 year plan, after the first year, there will be targets which will need to be achieved by the provider in order to receive the greatest amount of funding available. I look forward to seeing how the talks between the CCG and shortlisted parties progress over the coming months.