Providers set to be place out to tender for competition integrated contracts for out-of-hrs GP care and ultrasound. Photograph: Graeme Robertson/Getty Photographs
Numerous GP-led local NHS bodies are being forced to place health solutions out to tender despite government assurances that that would not occur.
New analysis by Wellness Services Journal displays that 29.1% of the leaders of 93 clinical commissioning groups (CCG) which responded to a survey explained had opened up, or have been opening up, services to competition which they would not have carried out if they have been not concerned about the influence of new guidelines contained in the controversial Health and Social Care Act.
They incorporated contracts for out-of-hours GP care, older people’s services, audiology, ultrasound and podiatry.
In 2012, the wellness secretary Andrew Lansley wrote to all the 211 CCGs pledging unequivocally that they individually would be ready to choose, rather than ministers or the NHS regulator, Monitor, when to put contracts out to tender.
But HSJ identified that twenty% of CCGs had encountered a challenge under the new competitors guidelines to a choice they had taken about the commissioning of solutions, even though 57% had knowledgeable “informal challenge or questioning”.
In addition, 65% of the 103 bosses of the 93 CCGs mentioned that they had incurred further charges associated to commissioning as a result of the regulations, although 36% explained they had hampered programs for local hospitals to merge or grow to be foundation trusts.
Peter Melton, the co-chair of the NHS Commissioning Assembly, said that the competitors rules needed to be simplified to make tendering choices less complicated for CCGs.
Sir David Nicholson, who stepped down last week as NHS England’s chief executive, warned MPs final 12 months that the NHS was “obtaining bogged down in a morass of competitors law.”