Health chief disappointed to miss out on school nurses contract

Glen Burley outside Stratford's Cancer and Eye Hospital.

A decision not to award a new contract to provide school nurses in Warwickshire to the South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust (SWFT) has been greeted with disappointment by its chief executive.

Earlier this month the chief executive’s report revealed that SWFT had lost out on the contract to an independent provider called Compass.

Giving his reaction to the news, Glen Burley, chief executive at SWFT, said: “We were disappointed that our bid to bring the Warwickshire School Health and Wellbeing Service back into the Trust had been unsuccessful. Following the success of our similar contracts in Coventry and Solihull we feel like this is a real missed opportunity for our local health system.

“Preventing illness is a key element of our strategy so we will seek to work collaboratively with Compass, the independent sector provider of the service, to ensure that there is an increase in health promotion and prevention interventions in this really important part of our community.”

The report explained that SWFT may have lost out because its ‘digital maturity’ needed improvement.

It added that SWFT hoped to bid again for the contract in the future.

Compass is the current provider of the School Health and Wellbeing Service in Warwickshire which delivers preventative and universal public health programmes in schools across the county, as well as in youth centres, children’s centres, homes and elsewhere.

It also provides advice on a wide range of health topics from healthy eating; friendships and bullying; to parenting, fussy eating, anxiety and sleep.

The service is delivered by nurses and healthcare support workers and is freely available to all school-aged children and young people from 5 to 19 years old (up to 25 years old for people with special educational needs) and their families and carers.

Rachel Bundock, Compass chief executive and executive director said: “Compass is delighted to have this opportunity to continue delivering this very important and much valued service. We have established some fantastic partnerships over the last four years which contributed significantly to the service’s success. We are very much looking forward to working with our partners over the coming months to implement the next phase of the service.”

The new contract will run from 1 November 2019 – 31 October 2022, following the end of the current contract on the 31 October 2019.

Warwickshire County Council declined to comment on how much the new contract was worth.