The future of the St Mary’s NHS Treatment Centre has been secured after a new contract has been awarded for operating the site.
NHS Portsmouth, the primary care trust responsible for meeting the health needs of the city, announced today that it had awarded a new contract to the existing providers, Care UK.
Care UK is set to be given a new contract three-year contract, starting 4 July, with the option of a one-year extension.
The move follows a lengthy procurement process in which nine organisations originally filed official expressions of interest in running the centre on the St Mary’s hospital site at Milton.
The St Mary’s centre opened in early 2006 when the contract was awarded to Mercury, a company later taken over by Care UK which has managed it since then.
NHS Portsmouth went to the market to renew the contract for providing a range of healthcare services including:
• A walk-in facility
• Minor injuries unit
• Day surgery and associated out-patient activity
• Diabetic retinopathy services
Tom Morton, a Non-Executive Director for NHS Portsmouth who has chaired the project board, said: “When St Mary’s Treatment Centre first opened, it was one of a wave of similar centres across the country which aimed to broaden patient choice and help the NHS reach targets such as appointment times.
“It has very clearly become a very well-used, popular and highly-regarded NHS facility for people in Portsmouth.
“In particular, the walk-in facility and minor injuries units are a very important part of the range of free healthcare options available to our residents and, in these days when so many public sector projects are under pressure, I am sure that people will be delighted to hear that its future has been secured.
“We would like to thank all our partners who have been involved in this tendering process, particularly the Department of Health and NHS South Central Strategic Health Authority, which has given national and regional support and advice, and our colleagues NHS Hampshire, who have played an invaluable role on the project board.”
Debbie Tarrant, Programme Director for NHS Portsmouth, said: “We were pleased at the level of interest among other health providers but we are delighted to again be working in partnership with Care UK, which has a proven track record at the site.
”We believe the really big winners here will be our NHS patients.”
Penny Daniels, General Manager at St Mary’s NHS Treatment Centre said:
“Over the past five years, we’ve worked in partnership with the NHS to treat a wide range of patients and conditions. Over 25,300 patients have experienced our day surgery facility for a range of minor operations including hernias, cataracts and carpal tunnel and we’ve carried out over 51,300 diagnostic procedures including x-rays, ultrasound scans and Echocardiograms. Our walk in centre and minor injuries unit has seen a throughput of over 182,000 patients, is well used by local people – not only is it convenient but it means that the local A & E unit can focus on the more serious health needs of people in the Portsmouth area. My team have really enjoyed working at St Mary’s over the past five years and we’re looking forward to the next three years.”
NHS Portsmouth is currently transforming part of the St Mary’s hospital site into an £18m government funded community health campus. The treatment centre will be at the heart of new-look site.