Concordia Specialist Care Services gave just five days notice for the termination of its contract to provide dermatology services to patients in North East Essex earlier this month. The company has now left the contract two months before its end date of July 2019.
No formal reason has been given for leaving the contract, although it is known that the company is restructuring. The contract began in July 2017 and was for five years, but this was reduced to two years by North East Essex CCG last October.
The CCG report noted: “Standards of hygiene and cleanliness in a number of areas did not comply with national standards, medication was out of date, specimens were inappropriately stored in a medication fridge and Concordia staff were unaware of how to access organisational policies.”
The service has been taken over by East Suffolk and North Essex FT and the service’s six staff have been transferred to the trust.
An article in the HSJ suggested that the parent company Omnes Healthcare LLP (known as Concordia Health LLP until last week) has financial difficulties, but the company has denied this and says it is restructuring and no other service is affected.
Omnes Healthcare LLP operates under a number of subsidiary names, but primarily Community Outpatients Ltd and Concordia Specialist Care Services Ltd.
The company’s Community Outpatients website states it works for over 40 CCGs at over 150 community sites and lists dermatology, ENT, cardiology and endoscopy as services provided.
Concordia is not the first private company to abandon a contract leaving the local NHS services to pick up the work. Earlier this month we reported on Virgin Care terminating part of its contract in East Staffordshire for services for the frail and elderly.
The part of the contract covering the sub-contracting of various services has now moved back to East Staffordshire CCG. This was followed by Virgin Care announcing that it is terminating the entire contract three years early in 2020, arguing that the reason was a failure to come to a financial agreement with the CCG.
The table also includes examples where after several years of running services, private companies have then lost the contract to an NHS provider.
source: NHS Support Federation
|Private Providers||Contract||Approximate date contract ended||New provider||Reason|
|Integrated dermatology services for North East Essex||May 2019||East Suffolk and North Essex Foundation Trust||Contract termination by Concordia with five days notice|
|Capita||Cervical cancer screening programme part of the PCS contract||Late 2019||NHS England||Removal by NHS England due to poor performance|
|Virgin Care||The sub-contracting component of the East Staffordshire CCG “Improving Lives” contract for the Frail and Elderly||Late 2018||East Staffordshire CCG||Contract termination by Virgin due to financial disagreement|
|Virgin Care||The rest of the “Improving Lives” contract||April 2020||N/A||Virgin has terminated the contract three years early in 2020|
|Circle||Nottingham Treatment Centre||May 2019||Nottingham University Hospitals Trust||New contract not awarded to Circle|
|Circle||Hinchingbrooke Hospital||Mid 2015||Hinchingbrooke Health Care NHS Trust||Contract termination by Circle due to financial issues, but pressure from critical CQC report|
|Coperforma||Non-emergency patient transport||October 2016||South Central Ambulance Foundation Trust||CCG terminates contract due to poor performance|
|Virgin Care||Children’s services in Devon||April 2019||Torbay and South Devon Foundation Trust, Devon Partnership Trust, Royal Devon and Exeter FT, University Hospitals Plymouth Trust, Northern Devon Healthcare Trust, and Livewell Southwest (a community interest company)||New Contract award|
|Virgin Care||Adult community health services for Guildford and Waverley CCG||April 2018||Procare (a GP federation) and the Royal Surrey County Hospital Foundation Trust||New Contract award|
|Virgin Care||Children’s community services in Surrey||April 2017||Surrey and Borders Partnership Foundation Trust and two social enterprises, CSH Surrey and First Community Health.||New Contract award|
|APMS GP contracts in Brighton and Hove||June 2016||Various GP surgeries around the city||Termination of contract by The Practice Group due to financial pressures|
|Primecare||Out-of-hours contracts with GP surgeries in Birmingham||December 2018||Badger (a GP-run co-operative)||Termination of contract by Primecare with 10 days notice due to financial instability of company|
|Urgent Care centre Royal University Hospital, Bath||May 2018||Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Foundation Trust in partnership with B&NES Enhanced Medical Services (BEMS), a private company.||New Contract award, but poor performance of Vocare meant the company did not regain the contract.|
|Central Nottinghamshire Clinical Services (CNCS)||Out-of-hours service and home care in Nottinghamshir||May 2016||Derbyshire Health United, Nottingham Emergency Medicines Service and Nottinghamshire Healthcare Trust||CNCS went into administration|
|Serco||Out-of-hours service in Cornwall||May 2015||Devon Doctors||Serco terminates contract 17 months early due to poor performance and scandal|