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Contract crisis at Eccleshill Treatment Centre
A Bradford medical centre faces an uncertain future, with no contractor in place to run it after July.
Staff at Eccleshill Treatment Centre in Harrogate Road say they have been told they might not have a job in 12 weeks when operator Care UK’s contract expires.
NHS Bradford District Clinical Comissioning Group, which funds the centre, has admitted there is no one in place to run services there after that date but it is working hard to make sure they are not lost.
The centre offers different medical services, including orthopaedics, minor plastic surgery, MRI and CT scanning and X-rays.
But there is also no guarantee that the successful contractor will use the Eccleshill premises.
All 80-plus staff have been told they face losing their jobs or being relocated within the company, which could mean moving to different cities.
Care UK’s contract runs until July 7. As part of the tender process it had to submit a new bid to continue running the centre but the CCG has said its bid, along with two others from un-named companies, was “not acceptable”.
Other facilities on the site – Eccleshill Community Hospital and independent GPs practices – are not affected.
A spokesman for NHS Bradford Districts CCG said: “We have carried out a formal tendering process. Unfortunately we have not received any acceptable bids so we have reluctantly had to end the procurement process without awarding a new contract.
“NHS Bradford Districts and NHS Bradford City CCGs are exploring various options to ensure continuity of services, which include advertising for qualified providers of diagnostic services. Potential providers will be offered the option of using Eccleshill Treatment Centre to deliver their services.” The spokesman said patients with appointments before July should not be affected.
A member of staff at the centre, who did not want to be named, said: “A lot of us have been here for eight or nine years. It is not just about us – what is going to happen to the patients? Everyone has been coming into work crying.”
Care UK said: “Eccleshill NHS Treatment Centre is a high-performing service which has, for many years, delivered excellent, innovative care and been highly praised by patients. It is disappointing that commissioning decisions mean there is not a future for the service.
“We will be working closely with commissioners and other parts of the health economy to ensure transitional arrangements are put in place and we will be consulting affected colleagues regarding the implications of the position.”
Bradford East MP David Ward said he hoped to meet the CCG and Care UK in the coming days.
Eccleshill Treatment Centre opened in July 2005 at a cost of £6 million and was part of a push to give patients faster access to health care.
Patients are referred by GPs and it offers many services available at hospitals but with a much shorter waiting time.
The centre was built on the site of the former Eccleshill Upper School, next to the community hospital.
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