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NHS: Private Sector

Volume 459: debated on Tuesday 1 May 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what her policy is on providing an independent sector treatment centre for North Essex; and if she will make a statement. (133375)

The Department is working with the East of England strategic health authority to deliver independent sector treatment centre (ISTC) services in Essex. It is currently anticipated that there will be three ISTCs in the region located in Braintree, Basildon and Southend.

The aims of the Department’s ISTC programme are to:

help provide capacity to deliver swift access to treatment for national health service patients;

support the implementation of patient choice;

stimulate innovative models of service delivery and drive up productivity; and

introduce contestability between providers of healthcare services for NHS patients.