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8/Diagnostic And Treatment Centres

Volume 406: debated on Tuesday 10 June 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will list the terms and conditions under which diagnostic and treatment centres (DTCs) will provide non-urgent surgery to the NHS; how many non-NHS units and companies have been asked to tender; what the (a) nationality and (b) company HQ address is of the non-NHS companies on the list; what terms and conditions will be applicable to non-NHS staff working in DTCs; and what legal protection will be offered to patients receiving treatment outside the NHS from private DTCs. [115174]

There will be national health service run and independent sector-run diagnosis and treatment centres (DTCs) providing non-urgent surgery to NHS patients. NHS-run DTCs will be part of NHS trusts and will be subject to NHS governance and standards; independent sector DTCs will be expected to meet independent sector standards and will be regulated and inspected by the National Care Standards Commission. The intention is that the contracts for independent sector DTCs will be based on a standard project agreement containing a common core set of terms and conditions reflecting this. 15 companies have been short-listed and their details can be found at: http:// www.doh.gov.uk/growingcapacity/news.htm This will be updated with further information on a regular basis.To comply with employment and health and safety legislation, guidance on pre and post-employment checks and all clinical staff will need to be registered with the appropriate regulatory body and properly trained and competent to carry out the roles required of them.Patients treated at NHS expense in DTCs will remain NHS patients and their rights as NHS patients will not be affected. They will, for example, have a right to use the NHS complaints procedure, and providers will be expected to co-operate with the investigation of complaints under that procedure.