Formal Notification of The End of ‘The HIV Support & Prevention Services’ at STaSS
This statement serves to inform you that as of 1st October 2017 STaSS will no longer be providing Support Work & Prevention Services for people living with or closely affected by HIV. Some of you may recall, that when we won the tender 3 years ago, the official end date was 30 September 2016. However, towards the end of our contract last year, Milton Keynes Council informed us that there was scope to extend the contract by 1 more year as they had not received any applications for the tender they had put out earlier in the year. As an organisation, we were quite happy to oblige as we had concerns about the transitioning of current service users to various Adult Social Care services. We took up the contract for 1 more year with variations which meant there was a shift in service delivery, we had to focus on doing 80% prevention work and 20% support work. This has been the case throughout the last year, where we have signposted and referred our service users to other non-HIV services. In April 2017, the Local Authority once again put out another HIV tender for Milton Keynes. Same as last year, STaSS in consultation with its Board of trustees decided not to apply for the tender as it did not fit in with its strategic plan for the future, mainly that In November 2017 STaSS will be celebrating its 10th Anniversary. STaSS will be relaunching and rebranding as an Education and Advocacy Charity for Blood Borne Viruses and Mental Health Awareness for BME. STaSS will also have an international focus extending to Africa and the USA. This is a direction that the organisation has been looking into for a few years now and we believe that this is the best time to see it through. Not applying for the current tender in Milton Keynes was a difficult decision, but well thought out. We have been passionate about our work in Milton Keynes and have always welcomed the challenges and opportunities it presented. Difficult as it was, we were confident that the work could still carry on with an equally passionate Service Provider. About a week ago, we received the good news that our long-time partner agency, the Terrence Higgins Trust (THT) had won the tender. As the successful providers, they will be taking over HIV Prevention Services in Milton Keynes from 1st October 2017, all HIV referrals will be made to THT. STaSS is in communication with THT and are hoping for a handover and a smooth transition of service users in the next 6-week period prior to new service providers taking over. It is anticipated that you may all have some questions for us during this period. Please do not hesitate to contact us, should you have any questions or concerns. We wish to take this opportunity to thank you all for the support you have given us thus far as an organiation.
Regards- STaSS Team