THE sell-off of NHS services in Wiltshire looks set to continue as adult community services are now being offered to private firms.

Last week the Journal reported that children's community health services — until now provided by the NHS — had been snapped up by Virgin Care in a deal worth almost £13million.

Now companies are bidding for adult community services, currently provided by Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, and delivered at smaller, local hospitals.

The GP-led group that controls Wiltshire's healthcare budget (Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group) is seeking one contractor to run 19 services for adults.

They include speech and language therapy, stroke therapy, diabetes care, podiatry, musculoskeletal physiotherapy, orthotics, wheelchairs, cardiac and respiratory services, fracture clinics, community bed services, the frail elderly service, hearing care and others.

Firms are busy drawing up their bids for the contract, but the CCG could not disclose which companies were involved as the information was "commercially sensitive".

The deadline for bids is at the end of November and the CCG board will announce the decision at a meeting on December 15.

The new operator would then take over the running of the services from July 1, 2016, when the current five-year deal with Great Western Hospitals ends.

The government requires the CCG to put contracts out to tender when they are due to run out.