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).
6 As a result the PCT is preparing to select a potential partner for Community Services from within the NHS community of foundation trusts. The key rationale being: . FTs have a proven track record of delivering high quality services; . Transferring within the NHS minimises the risk of disruption to patients, services and staff, promoting stability; . The successful FT will provide additional commercial and innovation capability to enable new services and improved patient care whilst both helping to develop a market and preparing services for the market; . The successful FT will have the clinical and corporate governance structures to manage the extensive and complex service portfolio, including a substantial number of consultant medical staff; . The successful FT will have management and evaluation metrics appropriate to the business; and . A full range of providers will have a clear opportunity to compete to provide services as they increasingly come to market in two years time. The PCT has agreed that the search for a potential FT partner will be conducted through the procurement process summarised on page 21. It is anticipated that this process will be beneficial to both the PCT and bidders, allowing the process of discovery and due diligence to inform the progress of all involved. The business opportunity It is important to recognise that there are two elements to the transaction that the PCT is undertaking. These are: . A business transfer of the PCT's Community Services division to the successful FT; and . Awarding a two- year contract for the provision of the community health services currently being delivered by the PCT's Community Services division. The offer to the successful foundation trust is a very attractive one: it will become the manager and operator of a £ 70 million portfolio of community health services. More details of the service portfolio are provided on page 25.