Decision details

Substance Misuse Service Contract

Decision Maker: Cabinet

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: Yes

Is subject to call in?: No


Councillor Tamoor Tariq, Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, presented the report which sought approval to recommission Greater Manchester Mental Health (GMMH), an NHS provider, to deliver its substance misuse treatment service.



Cabinet agreed to make a direct award to the current provider, GMMH, for a period of 3 years (with the right to extend at the Council’s discretion for two further years) at a total estimated cost of £4,284,000 for the initial 3 years, and £1,428,000 per annum thereafter (subject to inflation and Agenda for Change pay increases).


Reasons for the decision:

The Council is happy with the current performance of GMMH. Its substance misuse services were rated as outstanding from their most recent inspection by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) in 2018.In 2022 GMMH had an independent, external provider evaluate the partnership model, which overall was considered to work very effectively and reflect the aims of the contract.

This option would allow the Council to continue to build on already existing, positive relationships that have been built over the last four years, not just between GMHH and Bury Council but between it and numerous other external partners. Continuing with the current provider will enable current projects and funding streams to continue seamlessly. The current contract represents good value for money, compared to other organisations and localities, evidenced in supporting documents.


Other options considered and rejected:

Tender for new provider(s). This would allow direct comparison to other providers, offer confirmation that the Council is getting best value for money, and could ask for more for the same value, whether this takes the form of price reductions, better service, higher quality products or other added value. This option was rejected as it would:

·         Create disruption to current service users and staff. Anecdotal reports from the last tender in 2018 demonstrated that implementation of a new provider caused significant disruption to service users and triggered low staff morale.

·         Potential disruption to performance.

·         Based on an understanding of the current market, there is unlikely to be a better provider for this role and we believe it is good value for money.

·         Loss of the positive relationships already built.

·         Would interfere with current / planned projects and external funding streams.

·         A tender process would require extensive use of resources (particularly staff time across the organisation), which would come at a significant opportunity cost, preventing time being spent on primary prevention and current workstreams. This process would be complex and would need to consider adults, young people, and assertive outreach. This may involve tendering for more than one provider. Likely to require additional capacity to support the process.

·         May lose partnership between neighbouring authorities who also have GMMH as their substance misuse provider. This currently allows for economies of scale of work, shared back-office functions and a peer support approach across all organisations involved.

·         Potential loss of the benefits of the partnership model that is in place with GMMH as lead provider. The current partnership model incorporates both NHS and third sector organisations, meaning the Council is able to benefit from both types of organisations working on our substance misuse agenda.


Publication date: 09/11/2023

Date of decision: 07/11/2023

Decided at meeting: 07/11/2023 - Cabinet

Accompanying Documents: