Surrey

New company to run NHS services in east Surrey

NHS Surrey and First Community Health Care staff members
Image caption First Community Health Care takes over running services for NHS Surrey on Saturday

Former NHS clinicians and staff are to take over running a range of community services in east Surrey under a new social enterprise company.

First Community Health and Care will provide community nursing and therapy, falls teams and children's services from Saturday.

The company, which has been running in shadow form since 1 April, will also run Caterham Dene Community Hospital.

NHS Surrey will commission services worth £14.5m a year from the company.

The organisation, which will cover about 160,000 people in Horley, Lingfield, Caterham, Warlingham, Reigate and Redhill, is the second healthcare social enterprise in the county.

The first, Central Surrey Health, which provides similar services in the Epsom, Dorking and Leatherhead area, has been in place since 2005.

'Integrated care'

NHS Surrey said patients would not see any obvious changes but would benefit from "innovation and improvements" to patient care.

"Our priority is to continue to provide first class services to people in east Surrey," said Liz Mouland, First Community's chief nurse.

"We wish to make sure that services are joined up for people, and that care is fully integrated - in both health and social care."

Employees of First Community each own a £1 share in the organisation.

Assura Medical Limited has been chosen as the preferred bidder to provide community services in South West and North West Surrey.

Services are expected to be transferred on 31 December.

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