Press release

Provisional view on community care changes in Devon

Local commissioners need to do more to ensure that their decision to select the provider of community services in east Devon is in the best interests of patients.

Monitor has today published provisional findings of its investigation into how the NHS Northern, Eastern and Western Devon Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) selected Royal Devon & Exeter NHS Foundation Trust as the preferred provider of community services for adults with complex needs in east Devon.

The CCG’s procurement process is still ongoing but Monitor’s provisional view is that the CCG hasn’t yet fully assessed the scope of the services or value for money that its preferred choice would deliver. Therefore, in the next stage of its process it should properly evaluate whether this provider’s proposal will offer efficient and good quality services which give the best value for money.

Catherine Davies, Executive Director of Co-operation and Competition at Monitor, said:

The CCG is trying to develop new and better ways of caring for patients in Devon, by integrating care and offering more services closer to home. Efforts like these to modernise care are vital for making sure the NHS works well for patients, and we want to make sure the CCG gets it right for local people in east Devon.

At this stage our view is that the CCG still needs to take a number of steps to ensure it gets to the right result for patients using community services. Local people and interested organisations now have the opportunity to comment by 26 June on our assessment before we make our final decision.

Monitor opened an investigation after receiving a complaint from Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust, which currently holds the contract for community services in the area. The trust claimed that the CCG acted unfairly in the process of securing these services for the next 3 to 5 years.

Monitor’s provisional findings include:

  • the CCG’s process did not breach the transparency requirements
  • there has not been discriminatory or unequal treatment of potential providers
  • the CCG’s process has not been affected by conflicts of interest

To give interested parties the opportunity to comment, Monitor is consulting on its provisional findings until 26 June. It intends to publish its final decision in July 2015.