Contract terminated with NHS out of hours provider for Fenland and East Cambs

NHS CAMBRIDGESHIRE said today it had terminated the contract with Take Care Now, which provides Out of Hours services for residents in East Cambridgeshire and Fenland. Chris Banks, Chief Executive of NHS Cambridgeshire, said: Since the tragic death of M

NHS CAMBRIDGESHIRE said today it had terminated the contract with Take Care Now, which provides Out of Hours services for residents in East Cambridgeshire and Fenland.

Chris Banks, Chief Executive of NHS Cambridgeshire, said: "Since the tragic death of Mr David Gray (of Manea) in February 2008, our Healthcare Governance team has been closely monitoring Take Care Now's safety and performance.

"This monitoring has included 20 unannounced inspections visits and 13 unannounced spot checks and, if any concerns were discovered, action plans for improvement have been put in place.

"We have also continued to monitor TCN since February 2008 to ensure the overall quality of the service they were providing was improving. However we recently became dissatisfied with the progress being made and concerned about TCN's overall performance, such that on 18 September we served a formal remedial notice under the contract.


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"The Care Quality Commission then published its interim statement on 2 October in which it referred to concern about unfilled shifts. Some of this concern arose from visits to TCN bases in East Cambridgeshire and Fenland, and adjacent parts of Suffolk.

"The following weekend our Healthcare Governance team followed up with an unannounced spot check and, despite the Care Quality Commission's findings the previous weekend, found further deficiencies in the shift cover provided by

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TCN.

"With this additional evidence of failure to provide the contracted services we decided to issue a termination notice ending our contract for these services with effect from 1 December.

"As we were already in the process of consulting and tendering for a new county wide out-of-hours service to be effective in April 2010 we have contacted some local providers who are already delivering out-of-hours services in areas adjacent to that covered by TCN and they have agreed to provide a temporary replacement service across East Cambridgeshire and Fenland for the period until the new contract commences.

"I am pleased to say that we have extended our contract with CAMDOC for the provision of out of hours services across East Cambridgeshire and

Fenland for the period until the new contract commences in April 2010.

CAMDOC are a consortium of local Cambridgeshire GPs, which currently provides out-of-hours services to Cambridge City and South Cambridgeshire.

"This arrangement has been made possible with the support of local Fenland and East Cambridgeshire GPs, who have agreed to work with CAMDOC to provide the service.

"CAMDOC is an existing well respected provider of out of hours care and we are confident that they will deliver a high quality service to East Cambridgeshire and Fenland patients.

"NHS Cambridgeshire will work extremely closely with TCN and CAMDOC between now and the 1 December to ensure the smooth handover of the service and throughout this time the continued provision of a high quality service.

"Patients in East Cambridgeshire and Fenland* should access the out-of-hours service in the same way as they have always done, by phoning their normal surgery number, and their call will be redirected through to CAMDOC.

"Patients in other parts of Cambridgeshire are not affected by this change.

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