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18 February 2011 | Lindsay Clark
government is examining the skills of private sector suppliers in a review that
could lead to outsourcing parts of NHS Blood and Transplant service.
The Department of Health’s (DH) commercial
directorate has been in discussion with suppliers about running elements of the
NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT), according
to the Health Service Journal. The
publication said that Capita and NHS Supply Chain, which is operated by
logistics firm DHL, have been invited to the department for talks.
spokeswoman for the DH said a review was under way but no decision had been made with regards to contracting
any part of NHSBT. She confirmed that the department “will be considering the experience and skills
that exist in the private sector to identify opportunities for making NHSBT
more commercially effective”. This was in line with the findings of last year’s
review of arm's-length bodies, she said.
She added: “It
is important to recognise that NHSBT already outsources some of its support
functions. The current review is at the early stages and is overseen by a
steering group containing representatives from relevant policy teams and NHSBT.
“We are not
considering any functions that could risk destabilising the current national
donor system particularly the interface with donors. Where functions are being
reviewed, ministers will be fully consulted before making any recommendations.”