Gloucestershire

NHS Gloucestershire postpones service plans

Plans to transfer some healthcare services in Gloucestershire to a social enterprise outside the NHS have been postponed.

Gloucestershire Care Services Community Interest Company was due to take over management of services from 1 October.

But the plans have been postponed after a resident started legal proceedings by claiming the move was unlawful.

NHS Gloucestershire said it did not know how long the plans would be on hold but it was committed to the move.

The affected services - community hospitals, therapy services and district nurses - and 3,000 staff were due to be transferred to the Community Interest Company on Saturday.

But Michael Lloyd, 75, from Stroud, launched a legal case on 22 September, saying the plans were unlawful.

Legal duties

Rosa Curling, of Leigh Day & Co Solicitors, which is working on behalf of Mr Lloyd, said the PCT had outsourced a community service to a non-NHS body without being transparent.

"Our client believes the proposed transfer would be highly detrimental to the NHS services which he and other Gloucestershire residents receive," she said.

"We looked at what the trust had been doing in relation to that transfer and found that they hadn't complied with their legal duties.

"The trust has a duty to undertake a proper transparent and full procurement process."

Stroud Against the Cuts, which supports Mr Lloyd, said the challenge created an opportunity for the services to be kept within the NHS.

In a statement, chief executive of NHS Gloucestershire, Jan Stubbings, said: "We have followed all applicable policy and guidance.

"We wish to resolve outstanding matters to ensure a seamless transfer and therefore we have support to take additional time to do this."

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