Contract Notice 2006/05 114-121806

Health written question – answered on 25th July 2006.

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Photo of John Hemming John Hemming Liberal Democrat, Birmingham, Yardley

To ask the Secretary of State for Health

(1) which organisations her Department consulted on the contract notice 2006-05 114-121806;

(2) why the contract notice 2006-05 114-121806 published in the Official Journal of the European Union was withdrawn; and whether she intends to submit a revised contract notice.

Photo of Andy Burnham Andy Burnham Minister of State (Department of Health) (Delivery and Quality)

The advertisement in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) was withdrawn and a revised advertisement submitted on 13 July to make it clear that clinical provision was explicitly excluded from the scope of the procurement. In other words, that we were advertising for a range of management functions to support primary care trusts (PCTs) commissioning role. We have used the opportunity of the reissue of the advertisement to emphasise that even if PCTs choose to use such services they remain accountable to the public for the resources spent on health care in their locality.

The procurement framework will allow successful companies to offer a range of commissioning skills and services to PCTs who can chose whether or not to use the services offered. This is part of a range of measures to support PCTs and practices in developing effective commissioning as described in "Health reform in England: update and commissioning framework". PCTs are and will remain public, statutory bodies responsible for using their growing budgets to commission the best possible services for local people. They can never outsource this responsibility, or ask others to make these decisions for them.

We did not consult with external organisations prior to issuing the OJEU because one of the main purposes of such an advertisement is to elicit responses from interested organisations.

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