Deal to outsource Peterborough’s public health services to private firm ended early by council

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A deal to outsource public health services in Peterborough to a private company has been terminated early by the city council.

The council agreed a £4.2 million, five year contract with Solutions 4 Health Ltd which began in April 2017 with all of its staff transferring over to the new provider.

However, the authority has decided to trigger a break clause so it can pursue a joint contract alongside Cambridgeshire County Council as the two authorities continue to work closer together.

The break clause means the contract will terminate from April 2020 to coincide with the county council’s own Integrated Lifestyle Service contract coming to an end.

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A city council spokesperson said commissioning a joint contract will “help us to achieve best value for residents by reducing overhead costs”.

He added: “We very much value the good work done by local Solutions 4 Health staff to support the health of our residents.”

Staff who transferred from the city council to Solutions 4 Health will transfer to the new provider if a different organisation is handed the contract.

Public health services include helping people to stop smoking, weight management and disease prevention.

Despite being outsourced the city council remains responsible for the overall performance of public health services in Peterborough.

Since signing its contract with Solutions 4 Health the deal was altered for some weight management services to be sub-contracted to Cambridgeshire University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which runs Addenbrooke’s Hospital.

The council spokesman said: “Peterborough City Council have taken on direct management of this contract, which is an administrative change and will not lead to any difference in the service provided to clients.”