NHS England has today published its consultation on the proposed NHS Provider Selection Regime. The consultation on these proposals will run until 7 April 2021. For a fuller initial briefing on this read Andrew Daly’s newsbrief and commentary. In the coming days we will digest the proposals further and provide further commentary in due course.
The much anticipated consultation seeks to set out the proposals for the future of healthcare commissioning. The White Paper “Integration and Innovation: working together to improve health and social care for all” states “The powers within the Bill are intended to enable us to develop a new provider selection regime which will provide a framework for NHS bodies and local authorities to follow when deciding who should provide healthcare services. The provider selection regime will be informed by NHS England’s public consultation.” The consultation document therefore provides an insight as to what the current regime could be replaced with.
This new regime would apply to bodies responsible for arranging healthcare services for the purposes of the health service (NHS and public health) – including local authorities where they are commissioning healthcare services. Local authority commissioning of healthcare services, including public health, would be subject to the same rules as the rest of the NHS, to encourage and simplify joint working between local authorities and NHS bodies.
This regime would apply to the following bodies:
- ICS Boards when commissioning healthcare services for the purposes of the health service (whether NHS or public health)
- NHS England when commissioning healthcare for the purposes of the health service (whether NHS or public health)
- local authorities when arranging healthcare services as part of their public health functions
- local authorities when arranging NHS healthcare services as part of section 75 partnership arrangements with the NHS
- NHS trusts and foundation trusts when arranging the provision of healthcare services by other providers.
This regime would not apply to:
- social care services
- any public health services not arranged by NHS bodies or local authorities (for example those arranged by the Secretary of State directly such as Test and Trace)
- other non-clinical services such as consultancy or catering
- procurement of goods or medicines
- community pharmaceutical services, as separate regulations already set out how community pharmaceutical services are to be arranged, negating the need for additional rules.
The way in which decision-makers reach decisions about who provides services would depend on the type of service under consideration, and the kind of decision being made.
The consultation states that “It is important that the outcomes of decision-making bodies’ decisions reached under this regime are made public, and that sufficient scrutiny is applied to ensure the regime is being followed. We propose that the regime requires decision-making bodies to take a number of steps to evidence that they have properly exercised the responsibilities conferred on them by this regime.”
Until the law changes it is important to note that the existing requirements continue to apply.
We will digest the proposals further and provide further commentary in due course, but in the meantime, if you have any queries on the issues highlighted in this article, please just contact one of our specialist procurement law team.
If you have any questions regarding this then please contact Andrew Daly (details below). Read Andrew’s full news bulletin and commentary on the consultation here.
t: 0161 234 2448
m: 07748 982 185
Date: 11 February 2021