Staffordshire cancer contract scrapped

Plans to outsource cancer care in Staffordshire have collapsed after the final bidder for the contract was deemed unsuitable.

It was part of a process started in 2013, to award separate contracts for cancer care and for end of life care.

The idea was they would work with current providers to improve communication and coordination between the different organisations and services.

But commissioners say they have been unable to award the cancer care contract because the remaining bidder did not meet the financial criteria. 

Andrew Donald, Senior Responsible Officer for the programme and Chief Officer (Cannock Chase, South East Staffordshire & Seisdon Peninsula and Stafford & Surrounds CCGs) said: "Commissioners have completed the cancer procurement and following evaluation of the bid it has not been possible to award the contract because the bidder did not meet the required evaluation criteria.

"We are committed to delivering the outcomes of the programme and work is now underway to develop a revised plan to deliver the objectives through the Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Sustainability and Transformation Plan and West Midlands Cancer Alliance.

"There has been a significant amount of learning through the work of the programme and this will be utilised in the revised plan to deliver the objectives of the programme."

UNISON says the tender collapse shows it was a bad idea from the start.

The union wrote to Mr Donald in January last year calling for the tendering process to be halted, saying: “It is our belief that stopping this exercise now would save further costs and uncertainty for service users and staff”.

Responding to the collapse of the plans, UNISON head of health Christina McAnea said: “The failure of this tender highlights yet again that using complicated processes to award contracts is a costly and inefficient way of delivering essential NHS services.

“The time and money wasted on this lengthy tendering process would have been better spent on patient care rather than creating further uncertainty for service users and staff.”


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