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States of Guernsey signs new contract with the Medical Specialist Group

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Friday 03 March 2017

A new contract has been agreed between the States of Guernsey and the Medical Specialist Group, heralding a new era of even greater collaboration between the two parties as they seek to transform the provision of secondary healthcare.

Negotiations took place throughout 2016 and early this year, resulting in a new rolling contract with a five year notice period, which both organisations believe will allow the current high standard of secondary healthcare to continue while also delivering value for money and increased efficiencies.

The current contract, which expires on 31st December 2017, has a cost of £18.34m. The new contract will see the MSG make savings of 3% in 2018, 2% in 2019 and a further 1% in 2020. As such the 2018 starting price on a like for like basis with the 2017 cost is £17.67m.

These efficiencies, which will be achieved without any loss of provision, will reduce the total contract cost - on a like for like basis - by just over £1m over its first three years.

The current contract had imposed just one principal contractual obligation, namely an eight-week waiting time for appointments and operations. The new contract includes Key Performance Indicators (including the retention of the eight-week target on waiting times) to enable the service to be monitored across a broad range of measures.

Deputy Heidi Soulsby, President of the Committee for Health & Social Care, said that, in addition to the financial savings, the new contract offers greater control and flexibility for the States of Guernsey.

'The MSG contract is the largest for the States of Guernsey, with the total value approaching £100m over a five year period. It was therefore essential that we secured a contract that represented value for money for taxpayers, while also ensuring it offered the States of Guernsey the flexibility to review services and engage with the MSG on the ongoing transformation of healthcare.

'Throughout the lengthy negotiation process, great care has been taken to address the needs of the States of Guernsey as commissioner of health services, patients in terms of retaining the current high level of provision, and taxpayers with regards costs. We hope the new contract will facilitate a true partnership where we work closely together to provide services that meet the changing needs of our community.'

Dr Steve Evans, MSG Chairman, said:

'The partnership between the States of Guernsey and the Medical Specialist Group is a unique healthcare model, quite separate and different to the NHS in the UK and specifically tailored to the needs of our islands.

'The MSG sees the new contract as a dynamic strategic relationship with the States which has been designed to ensure patients continue to receive the high standards of care they have come to expect, while also encouraging transformational initiatives to achieve the best possible value for money.'

Paul Whitfield, States of Guernsey Chief Executive, who headed up the programme board, said that, given the size in monetary terms and importance from a healthcare perspective, it was crucial that negotiations were not rushed.

'It was vital for the States, the MSG and most importantly the community to have certainty over the future provision of secondary healthcare, so I'm delighted we have been able to reach an agreement. Negotiations over such an important contract were bound to take significant time and effort from all parties.

'We believe we have secured substantial improvements in addition to meeting needs of taxpayers in terms of value for money. We are committed to working in partnership with the MSG and look forward to the terms of the new contract being delivered.'  

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