New community health service providers in Merton begin on April 1
Next month, from April 1, the majority of community health services in the borough of Merton will be provided by Central London Community Healthcare NHS Trust, while Connect Health will provide musculo-skeletal services.
For the last five months, NHS Merton CCG and Merton Council, who commission the services, have been have been working closely with both organisations to ensure a smooth transition for patients and staff. The contract with the current provider, the Royal Marsden NHS Hospitals Trust, expires on March 31. Most services will continue to be delivered from the same locations, with the same staff and contact details.
The decision to move to new providers was the result of a thorough and detailed procurement process involving Merton GPs, Merton CCG and Merton Council, Merton residents, community groups, service users and carers. Merton GPs have continued to be involved in the development of the new services ahead of the formal transfer on April 1.
Dr Andrew Murray, a local GP and Chair of the CCG, said: 'When the existing contract was up for renewal, we took the opportunity to rethink our priorities for improving and modernising local services. We asked local people how they wanted these services to operate and listened to what they told us about their experiences of community health services. As a result we feel confident that we've been able to specify a service that more closely meets the needs of Merton residents.'
Dr Dagmar Zeuner, Director of Public Health for Merton Council, said: 'Setting up this new contract has provided a great opportunity for us, in partnership with the NHS, including local GPs, to ensure we deliver community health services that residents want, and I look forward to working with new providers, CLCH, in the months to come.'
James Benson, CLCH Divisional Director of Operations, said: 'Community healthcare is what we're all about as an NHS Trust. We're passionate about improving care outside of hospitals and are looking forward to working with GPs and the Council in Merton to give patients and carers the best possible help to stay healthy and independent.'
Jon Lowe, Managing Director of Connect Health, said: 'We are delighted to have been chosen to provide the new community musculoskeletal service in Merton. We have wide-ranging experience in delivering and developing quality, patient-centred services across the country, and we look forward to working with the CCG and the staff within the service to build on what has been achieved to date, with the aim of providing first-class care for the residents of Merton.'
Note to editors
1. Central London Community Healthcare NHS Trust will provide adults and children's community services
- Adults: community nursing, community therapies, intermediate care, rapid response, discharge support, rehabilitation, specialist nursing (tissue viability, respiratory, heart failure, diabetes), specialist community diabetes service, dietetics, podiatry, contraceptive and sexual health services, continence service, speech and language therapy, falls prevention, end of life care services.
- Children: health visiting, school nursing, special school nursing, specialist nursing support for children looked after and the multi-agency safeguarding hub, children's therapies, "education, health and care" planning service.
2. Connect Physical Health will provide musculoskeletal services
3. Dr Andrew Murray became Chair of Merton CCG in April 2015.
4. NHS Merton CCG is a clinically-led organisation responsible for planning, buying and monitoring health services to meet the needs of local people.
5. Merton CCG serves a population of over 210,000 people.
6. Merton CCG is made up of 24 member GP practices.
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