Eight CCGs in the north west of England and one in Essex have to find an alternative community midwifery service earlier than expected after their commissioned service revealed it is going into administration.
One to One (North West) Ltd announced its decision yesterday, and the company will go into administration from 31 July at 5pm. Its contract with the CCGs was originally due to expire on 31 March 2020.
It currently provides services on behalf of NHS Wirral CCG, NHS Liverpool CCG, NHS Warrington CCG, NHS West Cheshire CCG, NHS South Cheshire CCG, NHS Vale Royal CCG, NHS South Sefton CCG, NHS Southport and Formby CCG, and NHS North East Essex CCG.
In a statement on its website, the company said that it had attempted to ‘influence the financial basis’ for how a community midwife-led service can remain sustainable ‘within a challenging NHS landscape’.
However, the company said it was left with ‘no further options’ but to declare insolvency after it was confirmed that the proposed new contract between it and the CCGs was ‘procured without changes to this unsustainable financial structure’.
One to One also told its users that those registered or booked with the service will be helped to transfer to an alternative provider, it said.
The CCGs are getting in touch with patients who are affected by this news. They have also set up a helpline for those requiring support during the transition period.
One to One said in a statement: ‘It is regrettable that a service and model of care which provided such excellent clinical outcomes for women and their babies was not able to continue to do so.
‘One to One is extremely proud of its midwives and their achievements over the last nine years, in what has been a very challenging NHS environment. All our staff have contributed to the amazing care of over 17,000 families in this time and ultimately in the achievement of safer outcomes for women and their babies, including lower stillbirth rates and premature birth rates, but unfortunately this has not been enough to ensure the continuation of the service.’
One to One said that NHS Wirral CCG and associate CCGs had commissioned it for the provision of a community-based midwifery service in the Cheshire and Mersey region since 2010.
Commenting on the news, the Royal College of Midwives said: ‘This will be sad news for the women using the midwifery services of One to One in Cheshire and Essex.
‘Services such as these provide continuity of carer. This is the woman seeing the same midwife or small group of midwives throughout her care. This is a key plank of the Government’s maternity plans so it is very disappointing to see a service that provides this type of care cease trading.
‘That said NHS maternity services across the UK have begun to introduce continuity of carer and the RCM is working with our members and the NHS to deliver continuity of carer to women.
‘It must be an absolute priority now to ensure that new arrangements are made very quickly for the women using the services of One to One and that the choices open to them are discussed with them. Everything must be done to ensure the seamless continuation of safe and high quality maternity care for women and their babies.
‘What is imperative now is that midwives working for One to One are supported through this. The RCM will be supporting and advising any affected RCM members on their employment rights and seeking to ensure all who wish to work in the NHS gain future employment.’
This story was first published by our sister title Healthcare Leader.
Healthcare Leader has asked One to One to clarify how many people are at risk of losing their job.