We have a budget of just over £170m each year. We spend as much of this money as possible on planning and buying or ‘commissioning’ nearly all of the local health services that Southport and Formby residents may need to use.
Most of our budget, around 62%, is spent on hospital based services. The majority of the services we commission are from NHS Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust. Since 2012, this has been an integrated care organisation, providing both hospital and community based services.
Our other main service providers include:
- Mersey Care NHS Trust – the leading mental health trust across Merseyside
- North West Ambulance Service NHS Trust –providers of patient transport services as well as its network of emergency response vehicles
- North West Commissioning Support Unit – which provides many of our administrative and operational functions like data management and performance reporting
- Other NHS organisations – like Aintree University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Liverpool Community Health NHS Trust, Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals NHS Trust, Liverpool Women’s NHS Foundation Trust, Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust and Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital
- Community and voluntary sector organisations – like Sefton Carers Centre and the Alzheimer’s Society
- Independent and private sector providers – including Go To Doc that is led by doctors and provides our GP Out of Hours service
The services we commission are regularly reviewed to make sure they continuously represent best value in providing local residents with the highest standards of care.
Part of this process includes agreeing NHS Standard Contracts with the organisations that provide our services. These contracts include details of the performance standards and levels of quality that we expect for our patients.
In general, the majority of our contracts – including nearly all hospital services – are reviewed and negotiated annually with our providers. However, like all NHS organisations, we are required to ‘re-procure’ a small number of services when their contract comes to an end. Procurement or tendering processes involve stringent processes, set nationally by the Department of Health.