Out-of-hours GP talks in Whitby collapse

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A ‘STANDSTILL’ PERIOD has been placed on out-of-hours GP care in Whitby after talks with new providers collapsed.

The NHS clinical commissioning group for Hambleton, Richmondshire and Whitby (HRW CCG) appointed the private company Virgin Care as its preferred bidder after putting the contract out to tender in February.

But following months of discussions, the deal broke down and a contract has been offered to the reserve bidder Humber NHS Foundation Trust.

The HRW CCG said it was “disappointed” to announce the decision and stressed that the ‘voluntary standstill period’ will apply before the contract is confirmed which will expire at midnight on October 6. The group has also stressed the episode has not affected plans to redevelop Whitby Hospital.

Chief clinical officer Dr Vicky Pleydell said: “Following a lengthy due-diligence process, the CCG and Virgin Care have made the difficult decision to conclude discussions to provide community and out of hours services in Whitby and the surrounding areas.

“The CCG have therefore taken the decision to appoint Humber NHS Foundation Trust as preferred bidder. They met all key contract requirements and also demonstrated a strong commitment to ensuring the local community will benefit from enhanced, high quality services.

“We appreciate that this has been a long and difficult process for staff and are very much focused on ensuring any concerns are raised and heard. We have already assured staff that services will continue and expressed our appreciation for their professionalism during this process and ensuring patient care has not been affected.”