My mission statement

The times we are working in now need a great deal of accelerated change and there must be no negotiating that down. So my mission statement for this part of my consultancy career is to be clear that there needs to be and will be a lot of change from the work that I do with individuals and organisations and if organisations don’t want that, then it is probably best to go somewhere else.

Read my statement in full »

The end of the line for a personal change of policy

Filed Under (NHS Providers, Secretary of State) by Paul on 29-03-2010

Blog readers will have been following the twists and turns of the Secretary of State’s attempt to change the policy of the NHS to enforce his personal preference for the NHS as preferred provider.

Last week Society Guardian reported the end of the line as follows:

The health secretary, Andy Burnham, has lost his political battle to protect the NHS against competition from the private and voluntary sector. He had declared his intention to make the NHS a “preferred provider” of health services: some primary care trusts took this to mean independent healthcare firms and social enterprises should be excluded from bidding for contracts. Burnham’s ambition was seen by some as a sop to Labour’s trade union funders, and an attempt to re-establish the party’s anti-NHS privatisation credentials. Complaints were made to the NHS competition commission, and there were reports of disputes in cabinet over the issue. Today, the NHS published its revised guidance, which appears to blow Burnham’s ambitions out of the water. Stephen Bubb, chief executive of Acevo, which represents charities that provide public services, said:

“This guidance is the final nail in the coffin for the ‘preferred provider’ policy, which has been well and truly neutered. The Department of Health has today explicitly told NHS commissioners that they must not prefer providers from any one sector, and should instead be non-discriminatory and seek to remove barriers to third sector participation.”

Here’s an extract from Acevo’s briefing:

“The revised principles and rules for co-operation and competition contain no references to preferred provider. Principle 2 of 10 is that ‘commissioning and procurement must be transparent and non-discriminatory’. The PCT Procurement Guide makes clear that ‘the commissioning process, including any form of procurement, should be non-discriminatory and transparent at all times, including neither favouring nor excluding any particular provider’ ; ‘the procurement process should not give an advantage to any sector (public, private, third sector/social enterprise)’; and PCTs are required to ‘give all providers fair and equal opportunity to bid’. It also includes a new annex on provider engagement, and states that ‘the NHS will continue to remove potential barriers to the participation of non-NHS providers'”.

For those of us who believe that NHS Commissioners should feel free to commission the best care for their patients, this is a really good outcome.

Leave a Reply