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Lords fail to overturn NHS competition rules

25 April 2013 - 11:29am

A last-ditch bid to block competition being forced on almost all NHS services in England has been defeated in the House of Lords.

A Labour Party motion to throw out Section 75 Regulations of the Health and Social Care Act 2012 was defeated in the Lords last night by a government majority of 108.

More than 2,000 CSP members viewed Society resources linking to an online tool to register their opposition to the government policy. The CSP believes the regulations will lead to compulsive competitive tendering for most NHS services.

The Section 75 regulations were rewritten by the government earlier this year, following fierce criticism from healthcare professional bodies, politicians and the public.

The government insisted the redrawn regulations emphasised co-operation over competition, but expert legal opinion has concluded that the new regulations will still force commissioners to open up the majority of contracts to competitive tender.

CSP chief executive, Phil Gray, said the government’s claim that effective services will be protected from competition is undermined by recent history.

‘We have already seen excellent services opened up to the market for no good reason with the expansion of any qualified provider for community health services, such as physiotherapy,’ he said.

‘This has led to restrictions on treatment for patients and confusion for commissioners. These new regulations seem certain to do the same for all other NHS services in an open market.’

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