To ask the Secretary of State for Health, whether decisions on whether to publish documents relating to the contracting of NHS services to private providers (a) may and (b) may not prioritise commercial confidentiality over the public interest; and what the rationale for those prioritisation arrangements is.
The terms of the NHS Standard Contract allow clinically-led commissioners to publish the documents relating to the contracting of NHS services at their discretion, irrespective of any objections the provider may have. This applies whether the provider is an NHS trust, foundation trust or non-NHS provider.
It would be for the commissioner to determine locally, in line with guidance, whether any of the provisions within a particular contract should be viewed as exempt from Freedom of Information Act requirements, for instance on commercial grounds. Commissioners have access to very detailed guidance about potential exemptions.