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Major health contract worth £240m awarded in north Essex

Care Closer to Home will have a single care pathway.

Care Closer to Home will have a single care pathway.

Archant

One of the country's biggest health contracts worth £240million which aims to streamline care in north Essex has been awarded to a local organisation.

Lynne Woodcock, managing director of Anglian Community Enterprise (ACE)Lynne Woodcock, managing director of Anglian Community Enterprise (ACE)

The North East Essex Clinical Commissioning Group (NEE CCG) announced its Care Closer to Home initiative would be run by Anglian Community Enterprise (ACE).

The contract, worth £240m over seven years, means ACE will provide services such as community nursing, falls prevention, audiology, cardiology and ophthalmology across Colchester and Tendring.

It aims to focus on the needs of the patient and offer treatment in, or near to, their home instead of adding pressure to existing sites such as hospitals.

By offering a single entrance to a range of services it is hoped patients will only need to tell their story once instead of repeating it to numerous health workers.

Lynne Woodcock, managing director at ACE, said: “Care Closer to Home is integral to improving community health services by making a whole range of services available as close to people’s homes as possible.

“We know people would like their services to be more joined up and accessible and we are looking forward to working more closely with local GPs, Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust and other key partners to deliver a more seamless service.

“Our challenge now is to integrate all the community services we will be responsible for from April 2016 and ensure delivery is to the same high standards patients have come to expect from us.”

ACE run a range of NHS services in Essex, including weight loss schemes and the health visitor service.

A social enterprise, any surplus gets re-invested into the company or services.

Samantha Hepplewhite, acting chief officer at the NEE Essex CCG, said: “This was a very rigorous process and we received high levels of interest from the market with some very strong bids.

“ACE has demonstrated robust quality, service delivery, transformation, patient experience with an emphasis of effective partnership working in their bid. They also displayed a sound knowledge of healthcare provision and the importance of working with health and social care professionals to offer a joined up service.

“We are now looking forward to working with ACE.”

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