An investigation into the commissioning of elective care services in north east London has been opened by the health service watchdog.
Monitor, the regulator for health services in England, said it would examine the proposed pricing arrangements for the services by Barking and Dagenham Clinical Commissioning Group, Havering Clinical Commissioning Group, Redbridge Clinical Commissioning Group and Waltham Forest Clinical Commissioning Group.
The investigation follows a complaint by Care UK Clinical Services. It said the process to select Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust to provide elective care services from the North East London Treatment Centre in Ilford was not consistent with the commissioning groups’ regulatory obligations, and the national tariff was not complied with when agreeing prices for those services.
Monitor said the case raised questions about how the CCGs’ actions were in the interests of patients.
The investigation will consider whether the CCGs’ actions were consistent with parts of the National Health Service (Procurement, Patient Choice and Competition) (No.2) Regulations 2013, the Health and Social Care Act 2012, or the National Tariff rules. Monitor said it had not reached a view about whether there been any breach of any of these.
In a statement, the groups said: “Barking and Dagenham, Redbridge, Havering, and Waltham Forest Clinical Commissioning Groups are disappointed that this investigation has been launched. We will of course cooperate fully with Monitor to help them collect the information they require. The CCGs remain confident that our arrangements to select a provider of these services were in the best interests of patients, in accordance with the NHS rules on procurement, choice and competition.”
More detail on the issues to be investigated will be published in the coming weeks, with provisional findings scheduled to be published in December this year.