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Society urges major rewrite of latest NHS commissioning guidance

18 July 2013 - 9:22am

The CSP is urging the new NHS watchdog Monitor to carry out a significant rewrite of its draft guidance for health service commissioners.

phil-gray

CSP chief executive Phil Gray:'There is an underlying assumption that competition will drive up standards and efficiency in the NHS. No evidence is given to support this claim'

Monitor has issued new guidance on navigating the new NHS commissioning system in England and is currently consulting on the document.

Substantive guidance on the Procurement, Patient Choice and Competition Regulations is aimed at helping commissioners secure health services for their area, including implementing the controversial competition regulations within the Health and Care Act 2012.

Throughout the introduction of the Health and Care Act 2012, there has been keen debate around the extent that competition will be introduced as a default option, regardless of what commissioners think best for their area.

In the society’s response to Monitor’s new guidance, the CSP repeats its concerns that the commissioning system will mean a piece-by-piece transfer of health services from the NHS into the private sector, risks a fragmentation of services and adds another layer of costs through competitive tendering processes.

Ministers have repeatedly assured commissioners and professional bodies that these concerns are unfounded, the CSP says.

But the society states that the new guidance ‘does not provide the clarity or assurance that was promised’.

CSP chief executive Phil Gray said: ‘There is an underlying assumption that competition will drive up standards and efficiency in the NHS. No evidence is given to support this claim.

‘We would ask that the guidance be revised to adopt a more neutral tone in line with the ministerial assurances that were given in parliament.’

 

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