THE decision on who has won the contract which will enable local hospital services to be reduced is still under wraps.
Health chiefs are said to have chosen a contractor – but for legal reasons could only reveal the identity on or after May 27. There is, however, no sign of an announcement about the Care Closer to Home deal.
Batley-based Locala, which already runs some community health services, was one of only two bidders for the £238.4m contract.
The other is a consortium which includes the Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust.
Care Closer to Home would allow changes to services at Dewsbury District Hospital to go ahead. The contract will be for at least five years, with the possibility of a two-year extension.
The bid decision has been made jointly by the North Kirklees and Greater Huddersfield clinical commissioning groups (CCG).
Procurement rules mean an announcement cannot be made for at least 10 calendar days. A spokesman for the North Kirklees CCG said: “We’re still in the standstill period so can’t comment further. The 10 calendar days is a minimum standstill period. We don’t have a date for the announcement."
A petition against Care Closer to Home was handed over by campaigners to Kirklees Council last Thursday.
Some 1,258 signatures were collected by Dewsbury Keep Our NHS Public and the North Kirklees NHS Support Group. They claim Care Closer to Home, which aims to cut hospital admissions, is unproven.
Coun Viv Kendrick (Lab, Heckmondwike), chairman of the council’s health and wellbeing board, received the petition.
Christine Hyde, of the NHS support group, said: “What Care Closer to Home will look like is as yet unclear. To move wholesale to a policy whose success is unproven is rash, to say the least.”