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NHS: Private Sector

House of Lords written question – answered on 13th June 2011.

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Photo of Lord Myners Lord Myners Labour

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether NHS commissioning bodies awarding contracts to health providers from the private sector will be required to determine the financial viability of the provider; and what are the resources and standards to be used by the commissioning bodies in reaching this determination.

Photo of Earl Howe Earl Howe The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health

The Health and Social Care Bill, as currently drafted, sets out that all providers will be required to apply for a licence from Monitor, the health regulator, who will undertake due diligence and will require that the provider maintains sufficient resources to deliver against its contractual commitments on an ongoing basis. Our policy proposals are subject to outcome of the listening exercise.

In addition, it would be for commissioners to determine the appropriate due diligence that they must undertake to be assured that any provider responding to a contract will be able to deliver the quality and outcomes required, for the full duration of the contract term.

Guidance on procurement for clinical services, Procurement Guide for Commissioners of NHS-funded Services, has already been placed in the Library. Standard National Health Service contracts guidance for clinical services, the Standard NHS Contracts for Acute Hospital, Mental Health, Community and Ambulance Services and Supporting Guidance2011-12 (effective from 1 April 2011), is available at: www.dh.gov.uk/en/Publications andstatistics/Publications/PublicationsPolicyAnd Guidance/DH_124324.

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