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3rd June 2020


The NHS North East Essex Clinical Commissioning Group (NEECCG) yesterday took the decision to issue a 12 month “no fault” notice on a contract that provides community services across Colchester and Tendring.

The seven-year Care Closer to Home (CC2H) contract was awarded to Anglian Community Enterprise (ACE) in 2015 to provide services such as community nursing, community therapies, audiology, cardiology and ophthalmology across Colchester and Tendring.
It aimed to focus on the needs of patients and to offer treatment in, or near to, their homes instead of adding pressure to existing sites such as hospitals.

Yesterday’s decision, means NEECCG and its partners will procure a different contract. However, it follows a joint review of the Care Closer to Home contract last year that found:

i. Very high levels of user satisfaction, with ACE’s services scoring more than four out of five in every domain of HealthWatch Essex’s user survey.

ii. Extremely high levels of KPI performance, with ACE complying with over 90% of its contract KPIs in each of the last three years.

iii. ACE’s performance against contracted quality improvement indicators in the three full years of the contract being at, or very close to, 100%, whilst CQUINs were earned nine out of 10 times they were on offer.

iv. ACE having demonstrably higher productivity when compared to national benchmarks. For example, ACE undertakes 57% more activity per 100,000 weighted population, completes 9% more contacts per whole time equivalent (WTW) and receives 25% less income per 100,000 weighted population than is typical in England.

Looking beyond just the measurables, the review found that the level of system-wide integration achieved through CC2H is falling short of commissioner aspirations or indeed, ACE’s stated ambitions. However, the review also conceded that it was unrealistic to expect a single organisation to successfully achieve integration when the system as a whole has not been ready for such ambitious change.

Frank Sims, Chief Executive of ACE, said:

“I am saddened to learn about the CCG’s decision. ACE has always been committed to ensuring people have had access to the best possible care across Colchester and Tendring and this is reflected in very high level of service user satisfaction. Given the finding of the review we are disappointed with the NEECCG decision and this is particularly difficult for staff who have worked brilliantly over the last few months to deliver safe and innovative care during the COVID pandemic.

Our response to COVID has been nothing short of exceptional and I have no doubt that our staff will continue to perform at the highest possible level in these difficult times.

We will now do all we can to work with the CCG and partners in the North East Essex system to ensure our hard working staff are supported at this time and we continue to provide safe, caring and innovative services for our local population.”



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