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Concerns that commissioners are not putting contracts out to tender

13 November 2012

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Healthcare providers have voiced concern that commissioners are not putting contracts out to tender “as much as they could”.

This lack of appetite is said to be “making it difficult” for new providers enter the market and develop new services.

On-going Monitor research has found commissioners only invite tender submissions for 3% of those services that are outside the scope of the National Choice policy.

Initial findings from the Monitor review Fair Playing Field shows providers are also worried about “poor commissioning procedures” that favour incumbent providers at the expense of potential new bidders.

More than 100 respondents have so far contributed to the government-requested review from across the charitable, public and private sectors and almost half of them have commented that commissioning behaviours are one of the factors affecting their ability to provide services to patients.

“Providers appear to be raising questions about the availability of opportunities for them to tender for patient services and we intend to investigate this as part of the review,” said Toby Lambert, strategy and policy director at Monitor.

Monitor’s final report is due to be submitted to Jeremy Hunt, Secretary of State of Health, early next year.