About Community Services
NHS Community health services provide a wide range of care, from supporting patients to manage long-term conditions, to treating those who are ill with complex conditions.
Most community healthcare takes place in the community or in people’s homes. Teams of nurses and therapists coordinate care, working with professions including GPs and social care. Additionally, community health provides preventative and health improvement services, often with partners from local authorities and the third sector.
Although less visible than hospitals, they deliver an extensive and varied range of services.
It is recognised that a new approach is needed to bring positive benefits in terms of improving people’s health, wellbeing and experience of care, particularly in wrapping services around people’s needs and shifting the focus to keeping people well and happy at home, supported when needed by people who know them, with reduced demand for hospital and other health and care services.
Improving Community Services
Community services are delivered by a number of providers and are sometimes fragmented as a result. To make a difference we need to deliver care in a more integrated way, ensuring providers work collaboratively to deliver the best outcomes for patients. The aim is to grow and improve, not reduce, community services commissioned by the organisations across County Durham and Darlington.
CCGs are required by law to procure contracts when they expire and this is something that we do regularly. We have issued a Prior Information Notice which informs potential providers about our intention to procure community services over the next few months and to seek expressions of interest from prospective providers.
It’s a very exciting time for us and we will see closer working between GPs, the local authority, voluntary and private sector providers and statutory organisations to successfully deliver high quality services across health and social care. All changes are subject to stringent NHS regulations and we will be involving our Overview and Scrutiny Committee and Health and Wellbeing Boards every step of the way.
They are highly valued services. Patients will experience high quality community services throughout the procurement process and afterwards when we start to embed these improvements across County Durham and Darlington. We expect that the procurement process will be finished by April 2018 and the new model will be in place by October 2018.
The key objectives of a procurement exercise will be to:
- Meet patients’ needs and improve the quality and efficiency of services;
- Deliver services between primary, community and social care in a more integrated way;
- Provide best value for money in doing so
The organisations involved are:
- NHS Durham Dales, Easington and Sedgefield Clinical Commissioning Group (DDES CCG)
- NHS North Durham CCG (NDCCG)
- NHS Darlington CCG (DCCG)
We will continue to provide updates as we work through this process.