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Making care better with you

Talk to us 0330 355 1285 enquiries@healthwatchcambridgeshire.co.uk


Older people's health and adult community services contract

older Chinese woman and childOlder people's health and adult community services (OPACS) are planned and paid for by Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), our local health commisioner.  Since December 2016, they have been responsible for managing the contracts to provide this care after their original OPACS contract with UnitingCare collapsed. 

We have been involved in asking important questions and making sure that the CCG, and the key organisations providing care, are listening to and involving people in the future development and improvement of these services. This is something we will continue to do in 2016-17.


We held a community learning event in May 2016, where we found a cautions optimism for the future of adults and older people's care. We published a timeline to help people understand what had happened and when. We have updated this as new reports or activities happen throughout the year.

*Timeline updated:

  • 21 July 2016 with national Audit Office Review
  • 5 August 2016 with the Keep Our NHS Public report
  • 16 September 2016 with the Public Accounts Committee meeting details. This includes written evidence from our Healthwatch.
  • 27 September 2016 with the Judge Business School report for CPFT, and the PricewaterhouseCoopers report commissioned by NHS England. 

Here are our stories about the OPACS contract and future services:

 - Go to timeline - 


On 1st April 2015, UnitingCare became the “Lead Provider” of this innovative contract. They were selected by Cambridgeshire & Peterborough CCG, after a lengthy procurement process. The contract was based on a brand new “outcomes” approach to buying care. Its aim was to make care more joined up. When it ended, we wanted to know why and what would happen next. Our letter was supported by Healthwatch Peterborough, Healthwatch Northampton and Healthwatch Hertfordshire.

What the CCG said:

  • The contract ended because of financial problems, not problems with care.
  • The new model of care was starting to work, and they wanted to keep it.
  • They were working hard to make sure all the local contracts kept working and nobody went without care.

The CCG decided not to re-tender for these services, but to manage all the contracts themselves. As a result of the contract collapse, a number enquiries were announced into the different aspects of what went wrong. Cambridgeshire County Council’s Health Committee also wanted to look at this in detail. They have an important statutory role in scrutinising local health and care services. We worked closely with the Health Committee, attending their meetings and sharing what we know with them. We called for an overall learning from all of the reviews, to make sure that people can understand what happened.


We kept in close contact with the CCG throughout the procurement process, monitoring the effectiveness of their consultation and feeding back our comments about their plans. 

If you have a story to share about older people’s care, please tell us. It is important that we understand how care is working for older people in Cambridgeshire right now. Call us on 0330 355 1285 (local call number), email enquiries@healthwatchcambridgeshire.co.uk or tell us online


Timeline of reports and meetings looking at the end of the OPACS contract in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough

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