GPs oppose PCT jobs
Upping the dose
GP buying 'will lead to fragmented service', says NHS trust CPO
Department of Health updates purchasing guide
NHS will leak cash, warns procurement boss
2010 | Angeline Albert
The Department of Health
(DH) has refused to refer a grievance about a lack of NHS tendering to a
The NHS Partners Network,
which represents independent healthcare providers, lodged a formal complaint
with the department about its plans to award nearly £10 billion of deals to
other parts of the health service or social enterprises without going to
government pledged to give the private sector a chance to bid to take over community
hospitals, district nursing and GP therapy services run by Primary Care Trusts
(PCTs). The coalition government, however, said only four per cent of these
services will be put out to tender.
Some 10 per
cent of the work, which equates to £900 million of services, is being given to
staff to operate as social enterprises, without any formal competition. The
remaining 86 per cent will go to other parts of the NHS.
Partners Network has asked for the issue to be referred to the Co-operation & Competition Panel, which has
investigative powers when asked by the health department to examine an issue.
Ian Dalton, the DH’s managing director of provider
development, said: “Our focus is on separating commissioner and provider
functions in the NHS, and extending patient choice of any willing provider into
community services by autumn 2011. We have no current plans to refer any
complaints to the panel.”
2011, PCT services will be separated from their commissioning arms.
Worskett, director of the NHS Partners Network, said its members “have been
concerned for some months that the Transforming Community Services programme
was turning into a ‘rush for cover’ rather than bringing market principles and
best procurement practices”.
He added: “The Department of Health chart detailing how PCT provider
arms will be established from April 2011 shows that our members’ concerns are
thoroughly justified. Where is the evidence that this process – with only four
per cent of provider arms available for private and voluntary sector
organisations to tender for – can deliver best value at a time when it is
completely vital for the NHS to do so?”