We have now received the ruling from the judge with regards to the joint challenge that Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust and Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust brought against Lancashire County Council’s procurement decision to award the universal services contract to Virgin Care Services.
The judge upheld the challenge that we put forward and concluded that the procurement decision should be set aside. A spokesperson for both Trusts said:
“We welcome the ruling from the judge. We are pleased with the outcome and feel vindicated in following the action that we have taken. As public bodies, the Trusts are always reluctant to resort to legal action, in particular against other public bodies. However, we felt that we had submitted a strong bid and wanted to gain clarity on why we had not been successful. Going to court has ultimately borne out our concerns with the process carried out by Lancashire County Council and has achieved the result that we were seeking by setting aside the decision that the service should transfer to Virgin Care Services.”
“We believe the connectivity with other wider NHS services is important in terms of being able to fully meet the needs of the children and families who access these types of services in a joined up way. We are proud of the services within this contract and our teams that deliver them and as such want to keep them within Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust and Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.”
“It will be down to Lancashire County Council to determine what they do with this contract going forwards and we hope to engage with the Council about the future of the 0-19 service. We will continue to provide the service in the interim and would like to work with our partners within the integrated care system to continue to provide the service in the future.”