Virgin Cares axes services from £270m East Staffs contract


Virgin Care has cut services from its prime provider contract with commissioners in Staffordshire citing ‘significant changes to the commissioning landscape.’

The provider has terminated all commissioning elements of its contract with East Staffordshire Clinical Commissioning Group (ESCCCG), which it signed off in 2015 for £270m.

The organisation had been contracted to deliver community services in East Staffordshire under the Improving Lives programme, which targeted frail and older patients and those living with long term conditions.

The seven-year programme aims to give patients more control of their own care, supported by telecare and remote monitoring technologies, among others.

As Virgin Care does not operate all of the services it was contracted to deliver, it had arranged to commission these via sub-contracts with other providers.

However, it has now scrapped all subcontracting elements of its £270m agreement with East Staffs CCG.

A spokesperson for Virgin Care told Digital Health News: “We are committed to delivering the vision of the Improving Lives Programme in East Staffordshire, improving outcomes for older people and those with long term conditions.

“However, since this programme was established there have been significant changes to the commissioning landscape nationally.

“Reflecting this, we have discussed and agreed changes in the local contracting arrangements with the CCG.”

Reports from HSJ in 2017 suggested that disputes had arisen between Virgin Care and commissioners after the provider asked for an additional £5m.

A CCG spokesperson explained that Virgin Care had terminated aspects of the Improving Lives contract that covered hospital-based services – including A&E, unplanned hospital admissions and outpatients – as well as the 111 and out-of-hours services for East Staffordshire.

For the services terminated by Virgin Care, East Staffordshire CCG will instead sign agreements directly with providers of those services, starting in May/June 2019.

The spokesperson said: “The Improving Lives contract which Virgin Care have with ESCCG is a prime contractor contract and as such Virgin Care do not provide all of the services it covers themselves, but they have sub-contracts with other organisations to provide some of the services.

“This is a contracting change and will not have any impact on patients. The services will continue to be provided as they are currently.

“ESCCG will continue to work with Virgin Care and all its partners to integrate services and improve health outcomes for local people, in particular for those people with long term conditions and for frail, older people.”

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