4 The prospectus This prospectus has been made available by NHS South West Essex ( the PCT) following the publication of a national advertisement announcing the intention of the PCT to commence a process that will result in the transfer of its Community Services division to an NHS foundation trust ( FT). This document presents an overview of the PCT and NHS South West Essex Community Services ( Community Services), along with a summary of the anticipated process to achieve the transfer. Readers will understand what is available through the transfer of Community Services, how the process of selecting the successful FT will be undertaken, and how the transfer will be implemented. Having read the prospectus, interested FTs ( bidders) should have sufficient information to help them decide whether or not to proceed to the next stage. This will require a formal registration of an expression of interest to be made. Upon selection of the successful FT, the parties will enter into a contract for a period of two years, during which time the successful FT will manage and operate Community Services, whilst the PCT develops and prepares the services for market. Bidders' attention is drawn to the governance and administration requirements set out on page 17 along with the overview of the procurement process on page 21. Prospective bidders should also see the Transforming Community Services guidance and information issued by the Department of Health.
5 The local context of a national programme The publication of the 2005 White Paper ' Our Health, Our Care, Our Say - A New Direction for Community Services' ( the White Paper) signalled a radical re- organisation of the NHS, especially for out- of- hospital services. In addition, it is clear that the policy objectives outlined in the White Paper and the subsequent ' Health and Well- being Commissioning Framework' will be realised by PCTs making a step improvement in their commissioning capabilities. The White Paper reinforced a significant proposition about where primary care trust's should focus their strategic efforts and that they need to formally separate their core commissioning activities. From there primary care trust's need to consider how, in the light of such separation, innovation and best value ( driven through plurality and contestability) in provision can be achieved. The PCT is clear in its desire to drive up the quality of care and deliver real choice to patients and carers. One of the routes to this is through a programme of contestability, enabling the PCT to fully exploit the opportunities that the emerging market for NHS services presents. The decisions taken by the PCT's board put this desire to deliver clear benefits to the population at the centre of its decision making. On 25 March 2009, the PCT board agreed the strategic intent to transfer its Community Services division and to complete the transfer to the successful FT during spring 2010. A month later a public board meeting affirmed the decision to proceed. That decision has now been ratified by NHS East of England ( the EoE Strategic Health Authority).