Health bosses’ concern over contract could see arbitrator brought in

The Harbour in Blackpool

The Harbour in Blackpool

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Health bosses in Blackpool have voiced their concern over a contract with Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust, which runs mental health and community services throughout the county.

The town’s clinical commissioning group (CCG), responsible for buying and organising care for residents, has questioned whether value is being offered and has ordered a review to be carried out.

Andrew Harrison, chief finance officer at Blackpool CCG

Andrew Harrison, chief finance officer at Blackpool CCG

An arbitrator could now be called in to help settle the dispute, while documents revealed chief finance officer Andrew Harrison told governors at a recent meeting: “We do not want to put more money into the contract until a review of the usage of the contract is undertaken.”

A spokesman for Blackpool CCG said in a statement, after The Gazette approached Lancashire Care for a comment: “All eight of the CCGs in Lancashire contribute towards the cost of mental health services provided by Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust for our residents.

“The amount each CCG pays varies depending on the use of services by residents in each local area.

“The CCGs and trust are currently working together to look at how the calculation of this contribution could possibly be amended.

“This is part of ongoing work to make sure the funding of mental health services is fairly distributed across Lancashire.”

Blackpool CCG has had two contracts with Lancashire Care, which is responsible for running The Harbour in Preston New Road, Marton, documents show.

One was for community services running from April 2015 until March 2016, worth £14.9m.

The other is for mental health services, running from April 2015 until March 2017, and is worth £109,000.

It is the contract for 2016/17 that remains a concern, papers revealed.

The CCG is responsible for organising and paying for healthcare for Blackpool 
residents, while Lancashire Care is responsible for providing health and wellbeing services for around 1.4 million people.

Its services include podiatry, sexual health, rehabilitation, eating disorders, and prison and offender health.