Halt on trans­fer of health ser­vices

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PLANS to trans­fer dozens of health ser­vices to an NHS trust crit­i­cised by in­spec­tors has been ‘tem­po­rar­ily paused’.

Na­tional health chiefs at NHS Im­prove­ment want time to rein­ves­ti­gate Liver­pool com­mu­nity health’s plans to trans­fer ser­vices in­clud­ing walk-in cen­tres, sex­ual health and district nurs­ing to the Bridge­wa­ter trust.

The move comes a day af­ter in­spec­tors said the trust’s ser­vices around the North West, which in­clude those of­fered in South­port and Orm­skirk, “re­quire im­prove­ment”.

This is the sec­ond low- est pos­si­ble rat­ing given by the in­spec­tors.

Bosses at the Liver­pool Clin­i­cal Com­mis­sion­ing Group (CCG) had come un­der fire for their part in mak­ing Bridge­wa­ter the pre­ferred provider, be­fore the in­spec­tor’s re­port was even pub­lished.

West Lan­cashire MP Rosie Cooper, a mem­ber of Par­lia­ment’s health com­mit­tee, wel­comed the pause, but warned pa­tients and staff should not be let down again – af­ter a bul­ly­ing and ha­rass­ment scan­dal un­der the pre­vi­ous provider.

An NHS Im­prove­ment spokesman said: “Fol­low- ing is­sues raised in the re­cent Care Qual­ity Com­mis­sion re­port about Bridge­wa­ter Com­mu­nity Health­care NHS Trust, we be­lieve it is ap­pro­pri­ate to per­form ad­di­tional eval­u­a­tion of plans to trans­fer ser­vices to the trust from Liver­pool Com­mu­nity Health NHS Trust, to as­sure our­selves that the pro­pos­als re­main ap­pro­pri­ate.

“We are there­fore tem­po­rar­ily paus­ing all work on the trans­fer of ser­vices.”

Ms Cooper said: “I be­lieve this pause is the right de­ci­sion by NHS Im­prove­ment. Through- out this process I have ex­pressed my reser­va­tions about the suit­abil­ity of Bridge­wa­ter Com­mu­nity Health­care in tak­ing over these ser­vices.”

Colin Scales, Bridge­wa­ter’s chief ex­ec­u­tive, said: “We wel­come work by NHS Im­prove­ment to fur­ther demon­strate the progress we have made as a spe­cial­ist NHS com­mu­nity or­gan­i­sa­tion de­liv­er­ing com­mu­nity based care.

“We are an open and trans­par­ent or­gan­i­sa­tion and our draft CQC re­port was known and shared dur­ing the trans­ac­tion process.”

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