With support from Eastside Primetimers, the Blackpool-based GP cooperative FCMS has secured a contract to deliver NHS 111 helpline services across Lancashire and Cumbria. This is a 5 year contract covering all 33 Clinical Commissioning Groups in the North West region. The annual contract value for FCMS, as part of a larger partnership with the North West Ambulance Service, will be approximately £2.3 million, for a total of £12 million over the life of the contract. FCMS is now a preferred provider and the contract goes live on October 1st.

Eastside Primetimers helped FCMS access an Investment and Contract Readiness Fund (ICRF) grant, a Cabinet Office fund managed by the Social Investment Business. The grant was used to build their capacity for contract opportunities like NHS 111. Our support focused on commercial pricing and HR, which included enabling FCMS to develop a costing and pricing model which would be replicable for future bids. Our finance consultant, Catherine Grayson, has since worked with the FCMS team on a multi-lot bid with an annual value totalling around £5.7 million.

Helen Fogg, Business Development Manager of FCMS, said “Eastside Primetimers were not only vastly experienced in the support process but had expertise with organisations that have a social heart and are not-for-profit which is integral to our values and culture. The individuals directly involved in supporting the organisation in financial planning, business strategic placement, TUPE and HR processes during our multi-million pound public sector tender process were not only professional, but also complimented our own expert team fantastically.”

FCMS was established in 1994 as a GP out of hours cooperative. It is a not-for-profit social enterprise with a membership of over a hundred clinicians and a mission to make patients their central focus. They produce award-winning Department of Health-approved medical and dental services and have an ongoing policy of investing in staff, in order to significantly improve patient experience.

Lisa Lucas, EP’s lead consultant on the project, said “The success of FCMS in securing this innovative contract with CCGs is proof of the capacity that has been built up thanks to the ICRF grant provided by the Social Investment Business and the Office for Civil Society.”

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