BRADFORD Council is looking for alternative arrangements after the successful bidder for its Public Health 0-19 Children's Service Contract withdrew.

A spokesperson from Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust, which withdrew the bid, said: “The Trust submitted a tender to Bradford Council to continue to provide 0-19 services for Health Visiting, School Nursing and Oral Health services within the Bradford District.

"It was with huge regret that the Trust Board made the very difficult decision to withdraw that tender. 

"Having already delivered significant budget reductions and service transformation we did not ultimately feel that the required changes could be implemented safely within the required timescales and available budget.

"We will continue to work closely with the Council to ensure a smooth transition. Most importantly we will be supporting our staff during this period and doing all we can to ensure the continuity of services to children, young people and their families.”

A Council spokesperson said it was confident the contract, which included health visiting, school nursing and oral health, would be able to be delivered to ensure the very best of care.

The spokesperson said the Council would be in a position to share the detail of the arrangements early in the New Year "but understandably would wish to do so in the first instance with the valued staff involved".

Council Leader Susan Hinchcliffe said: "This is a multi-million pound budget providing care and support to our children and young people.

"We will be working closely with the local NHS Clinical Commissioning Group and other partners to explore the options available to us, which will allow us to ensure a more equal partnership with the people, families, community partnerships and family hubs who use these services."We have to spend money wisely and well and I know that in doing so we can make a genuinely positive impact on the lives of families in the district.”