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County Hospital service goes out to tender
8:00pm Sunday 20th January 2013 in News
PATHOLOGY services provided at Hereford County Hospital are being put out to tender.
Wye Valley Health Trust (WVT) is working with neighbouring trusts on a joint bid to avoid any income loss.
The Midlands and East Strategic Health Authority has announced its intention to put out to tender the community pathology services in the West Midlands.
The tenders are to be in three “lots”, with Herefordshire’s services in with those for Worcestershire and Warwickshire.
WVT has been working with Worcestershire Acute Hospitals Trust, South Warwickshire Foundation Trust, George Eliot Hospital in Nuneaton and the University Hospital of Coventry and Warwickshire on a collaborative approach to bidding.
If the work goes to another bidder, the cash-strapped WVT will lose income.
The acute pathology service overheads would be spread over a lower volume of activity with variable and semi-variable costs unlikely to be lost sufficiently to compensate for the income reduction.
In any event, WVT will incur bid costs that are still being scoped.
A decision has yet to be made as to whether to work with a private sector partner to sharpen the commercial response of the NHS bidders.
Prospective bidders were to be tested on their ability to meet tendering criteria in a pre-qualification questionnaire due out last month.
The process is mandatory even though it is understood that GPs are satisfied with the quality, responsiveness and price of the service provided in the county.